The Korea Herald


S. Korean fishermen seize Chinese boats near inter-Korean border

By 이현정

Published : June 5, 2016 - 21:39

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A group of South Korean fishermen captured two Chinese fishing boats near the western inter-Korean sea border Sunday, saying they were angry at the Chinese for illegally fishing in their waters.

The fishermen seized the 22-ton and 15-ton boats just south of the Northern Limit Line around 5:23 a.m., according to coast guard officials. A total of 11 Chinese fishermen were aboard, but they were sleeping when their vessels were dragged to the border island of Yeonpyeong by five South Korean fishing boats.

The Navy said it reported the South Korean vessels' movement to relevant agencies after detecting it on its radars.

"We went out to fish in waters south of Yeonpyeong early in the morning when we saw about 100 Chinese fishing boats covering the sea north of Yeonpyeong," said a captain who took part in the capture. "We suddenly became so mad that we decided to take collective action."

The coast guard has taken both the South Korean and Chinese fishermen into custody for questioning. The South Koreans could be charged with violating the Fisheries Act as they entered an area that lies too close to the border.

The Chinese, meanwhile, are expected to be charged with illegally entering foreign waters and could be further charged with illegal fishing, according to the coast guard.

The seized boats were found to be not registered with Chinese authorities, it added.

In 2005, South Korean fishermen seized four Chinese fishing boats that had crossed the NLL, but they were not punished. (Yonhap)