Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Royal decree on low-cut tops

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin?

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

  • Russia orders military drills as Ukraine moves on separatists

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • A radio station preaches peace and tolerance in CAR

    Read more

  • Fresh clashes in Rio over dancer's death

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Palestinian unity deal stirs anger in Israel

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

Asia-pacific

North Korea returns fishing boat to South

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-07

North Korea has released a South Korean fishing vessel and seven crew members seized in August and requested equipment to tackle severe floods in return, officials in Seoul say.

AFP - North Korea Tuesday returned a South Korean fishing boat seized a month ago and requested flood aid from its neighbour, in an apparent easing of tensions after months of hostility.

The squid fishing boat and seven crew -- four South Koreans and three Chinese -- crossed the east coast sea border en route to its home port, the South's coastguard said.

The North announced Monday it would return the 41-tonne boat, seized on August 8 for allegedly trespassing in an exclusive economic zone, as a "humanitarian" gesture.

Seoul's unification ministry said separately the North had asked for rice, cement and heavy construction equipment in response to an offer by the South's Red Cross to provide flood relief aid worth 10 billion won (8.3 million dollars).

"If the South is to send flood aid, it will be better that resources and equipment needed for recovery from flood damage be sent along with rice," the ministry quoted the North's message received last Saturday as saying.

Spokesman Chun Hae-Sung said Seoul was considering the request.

Cross-border relations have been icy since Seoul accused Pyongyang of torpedoing of one its warships in March, killing 46 people. The North denies the charge.

However, the Red Cross offered the North instant noodles, bottled water, medication and other necessities in response to serious floods in its northwest. Construction equipment was not part of the offer.

"Providing construction equipment would be an unrealistic option for the South because there is a possibility that it could later be used for military purposes," Yang Moo-Jin, of Seoul's University of North Korean Studies, told Yonhap news agency.

"Cement wouldn't draw too much controversy."

Heavy rain which pounded the border zone between China and North Korea last month badly damaged crops, houses and public buildings along with roads and railways, according to official media.

The North's apparent change of attitude comes on the eve of a major conference of its ruling communist party, at which delegates are expected to endorse the youngest son of leader Kim Jong-Il as eventual successor.

Seoul in recent years supplied the North with massive annual rice and fertiliser aid. This was suspended in 2008 as relations worsened after conservative President Lee Myung-Bak took office in Seoul.
 

Date created : 2010-09-07

  • NORTH KOREA

    North Korea's Kim Jong-il on trip to China, reports say

    Read more

  • NORTH KOREA

    Carter secures release of American jailed in N Korea

    Read more

  • KOREAN PENINSULA

    North confirms seizure of South Korean fishing vessel and crew

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)