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Korea, China will ink fishery accord

Posted August. 02, 2000 11:32,   


South Korea and China have agreed to sign the Maritime Fishery Accord on Aug. 3.

"During the sixth round of negotiations for maritime fishery affairs in Beijing, the contentious issue surrounding the area around the estuary of the Yangtze River has been resolved, leading to a settlement of the accord," a source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Aug. 1. ¡°South Korean Ambassador to China Kwon Byung-Hyun and Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs T`ang Ja-Shian have agreed to place their names on the accord on the third."

Once signed, the accord will be submitted to Seoul¡¯s National Assembly and to Beijing`s lawmakers for ratification for implementation early next year.

The agreement calls for a ban on Chinese fishermen from entering a special off-limit zone off the coast of the Korean peninsula, and it allows Korean boats to fish near the estuary of the Yangtze River for a limited transitional period, after which Korean boats will be prohibited.

Although a provisional maritime fishery accord was signed in November 1998, the formal accord took longer than expected to conclude, as conflicts arose regarding differences in interpretations of the provisional accord, and the question of fishing rights at the estuary of the river began to surface.