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Three North Koreans Defect By Boat Off Baengnyeongdo

Posted June. 27, 2005 06:18,   


Three North Koreans defected to South Korea through the West Sea aboard the Jeonma (a small boat) in the morning of June 26.

According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), at around 9:55 a.m. that day, the Jeonma, a one-ton class vessel from the North, showed its intention to defect 2.9 miles northeast away from Baengnyeongdo in the West Sea. A naval vessel then towed the boat to Yonggipo harbor in Baengnyeongdo at around 11:40 a.m. On June 17, a North Korean husband and wife in their 40s defected by sea near Baengnyeongdo as well.

In the meantime, the JCS reported that a fishing boat from the North passed 1.8 miles over the North Limit Line (NLL) of the West Sea to the vicinity of Baengryeongdo at 11:55 a.m., June 26, but that it was just a deviation from the sailing route. The JCS gave the boat a compass to send back to North Korean waters.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com