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S. Korea returns three rescued N. Korean sailors, two bodies

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Published : 2014-04-06 15:49
Updated : 2014-04-07 09:04

South Korea handed over three rescued North Korean sailors and two bodies to the North on Sunday, an official said.

The repatriation took place at the truce village of Panmunjom inside a military buffer zone that separates the two Koreas, according to the government official.

The move came two days after the North asked for the repatriation of its surviving crew members and the bodies of the dead through a dialogue channel at Panmunjom.

On Friday, a Mongolian-flagged cargo ship sank some 63 kilometers off the coast of South Korea's southern city of Yeosu, killing two out of 16 North Korean crew members on board and leaving 11 others missing.

South Korea's Coast Guard rescued the three North Korean sailors.

South Korea dispatched boats and aircraft to the scene to try to find the missing North Koreans and their ship for a third straight day Sunday, though bad weather has been hampering search and rescue operations.

The 4,300-ton boat, carrying some 50 tons of heavy oil and 6,500 tons of steel products, was en route to China from the North Korean city of Chongjin, according to South Korean officials. (Yonhap)

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