South Korea handed over to North Korea the body of a man found dead off South Korea’s southern coast where a Mongolian cargo ship carrying North Korean sailors sank earlier this month, an official said Monday.
The repatriation took place at the border village of Panmunjom inside a military buffer zone that separates the two Koreas, according to the government official.
The move came three days after North Korea confirmed the man’s identity. On Friday, South Korea asked North Korea to help identify the man by sending photos of the body through a dialogue channel at Panmunjeom.
South Korea also informed the North on Friday that it had ended the operation to search for 10 other sailors who remained missing.
The 4,300-ton ship went down in rough seas 76 kilometers off South Korea’s southern port city of Yeosu on April 4 on its way to Shanghai, China, from the north’s eastern port city of Cheongjin with a cargo of 6,500 steel products.
Of the ship’s 16 crew members, all North Koreans, two were found dead and three were rescued soon after the accident, the South Korean Coast Guard said.
On April 6, South Korea repatriated the three surviving North Korean sailors to their homeland along with the bodies of two others who died. (Yonhap)