North Korea confirmed on Thursday that it had seized a South Korean fishing boat with four South Koreans and three Chinese nationals on board for fishing inside a restricted zone and was investigating the incident. The boat was captured on August 8.
AFP - North Korea said Thursday its navy had seized a South Korean fishing boat for poaching in its exclusive economic zone.
The boat was captured on August 8 off the east coast, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.
"A South Korean boat which was fishing in our exclusive economic zone in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) was seized by the KPA (North Korean military) navy on August 8," it said.
"A preliminary investigation revealed the boat, with four South Koreans and three Chinese on board, intruded into our economic zone.... Investigation will continue," it added.
The seizure of the 41-tonne fishing boat further heightened months-old tensions between the two sides in the aftermath of the deadly sinking of a South Korean fishing boat in March with the loss of 46 lives.
The South has sent North Korea a message urging it to release the boat and its crew "in accordance with international laws and customs and humanitarian spirit".
The South's coastguard has said the boat was presumed to have been inside an economic zone proclaimed by the North in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) when it was detained.
The seizure was made during a major South Korean naval exercise in the Yellow Sea, for which the North had threatened retaliation.
Date created : 2010-08-19