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Failed Response to the Fishing Boat Defecting to the North

Failed Response to the Fishing Boat Defecting to the North

Posted April. 15, 2005 23:08,   


Regarding the case of a fishing boat defecting to North Korea, military authorities announced on April 15 that because the joint operation system of the army, the navy, and the Korean Coast Guard was flawed, they failed to block the fishing boat from going to the North.

Colonel Jung Han-yeol of the war preparation review department in the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “Radar bases of the army and the navy that were tracking the movement of the boat sailing northward lacked communications and failed to guard each other’s zones and take over tracking tasks from each other.”

A report from the investigation shows that the boat crossed the maritime border, which is off limits to fishing boats, at 3:42 p.m. on April 13, but the army did not inform the navy of this until eight minutes had passed.

The army unit patrolling the area started to closely watch the suspicious fishing boat from 3:30 p.m. on the same day, but only after 24 minutes had passed did it report the boat to the division headquarters.

It was confirmed that the navy was not able to send its navy speedboats and coast guard vessels to stop the boat from sailing northward, because the army designated the area as a temporary no-cruise zone due to a drill that had begun at 1:00 p.m. on the day.

The military authorities decided to reprehend the division commander and the battalion commander of the Marine guard unit, as well as the vice commander of the first Navy squadron.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com