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Chinese fishing boats sink a Korean coast guard vesselBy Jo He-rim
Published : Oct. 9, 2016 - 17:35
According to Incheon Coast Guard, the vessels, assumed to be 100-plus ton steel ships, on Friday deliberately crashed into an Incheon coastguard’s 4.5-ton speed boat, which was patrolling the area for illegal fishing in waters off Incheon in the western side of the peninsula, and fled the scene.
A 50-year-old marine officer fell into the water and was rescued by a nearby patrol boat. No others were injured.
The Foreign Ministry in Seoul filed a formal complaint to Beijing’s consul-general after the Coast Guard condemned the incident earlier Sunday.
“South Korea will keep a close eye on the matter as the root of the problem derives from illegal fishing by the Chinese,” the ministry said.
Lee Joo-seong, head of the Coast Guard’s central region, called the action “attempted murder.”
He called in China’s deputy consul-general to Seoul and expressed deep regret, asking for the Chinese government’s self-regulation and arrest of the two culprit ships.
The two countries have been on edge regarding the issue of Chinese fishing vessels illegally entering Korea’s waters.
In 2014, a Chinese boat captain was shot dead by a South Korean coast guardsman in one of the most violent crashes between Chinese fishermen and the Korean Coast Guard. In 2011, a South Korean coast guard officer was killed in a clash with Chinese fishermen in Korean waters.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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