South Korea failed Thursday to repatriate rescued North Korean fishermen, as the North did not respond to its call, Seoul's unification ministry said.
South Korea had planned to send the five crewmen rescued in the East Sea earlier this week back to North Korea via the truce village of Panmunjom on the inter-Korean border earlier in the day.
The government will try to contact the neighbor again on Friday, said the ministry handling inter-Korean affairs.
They were found drifting on the vessel due to engine problems, Jeong Joon-hee, ministry spokesman, said earlier this week. All of them expressed a desire to go home, Seoul said.
Any travel between the two Koreas is prohibited without approval from both governments since South and North Korea are technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. (Yonhap)