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Navy posthumously promotes soldier killed in 2002 maritime battle with N. Korea

The Navy on Friday granted a posthumous promotion to a soldier who was killed in a deadly maritime skirmish with North Korea, as a new film rekindled public commemoration of the inter-Korean clash.
The Navy decided to promote Chief Petty Officer Han Sang-kook to the rank of senior chief petty officer at a promotion evaluation committee meeting held earlier in the day, it said in a press release.
The belated decision came after the Navy revised the date of his death from June 29, 2002 to Aug. 9 in the same year.
Just days before his promotion scheduled for July 1, Han was killed in the maritime skirmish on June 29, 2002. But his body, later found in the steering house of a Navy vessel, was not retrieved until Aug. 9 amid strained inter-Korean military tension in the Yellow Sea.
Han, then ranked petty officer, had his title promoted by one notch as the Navy awarded posthumous promotions to the soldiers right after the sea battle, but Han's scheduled promotion had not been included.
With the new promotion, the Navy will increase the financial compensation and pension for Han in accordance with the new rank, it also noted.
Triggered by a North Korean patrol boat crossing the Northern Limit Line, the de facto sea border in the Yellow Sea, the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong killed six South Korean Navy officers and wounded 19 others.
With 13 North Koreans killed in the skirmish, it is remembered as one of a few deadly inter-Korean military clashes after the 1950-53 Korean War.
The recent release of the film "Northern Limit Line," which graphically depicts the struggles and deaths of the soldiers, rekindled memories and commemoration of the inter-Korean clash. (Yonhap)