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2 Koreas Tighten Supervision Around East, West Sea

Posted October. 12, 2009 07:03,   


Both South and North Korean authorities have strengthened supervision of people crossing the border through the East and West Sea.

The heightened surveillance comes after 11 North Koreans arrived by boat on South Korea’s east coast Oct. 1, a day before the Chuseok holiday.

A government official in Seoul said yesterday, “The government has recently asked heads of each region’s fisheries cooperatives to make sure South Korean fishing boats do not cross the Northern Limit Line on the East and West Sea.”

“We made this request because South Korean fishing boats accidently crossing the border could turn into a serious problem at a time when North Korean authorities are demanding the return of the 11 defectors.”

The North has also reportedly strengthened registration and inspection of barges and mid-sized fishing boats.

North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity, a group of defectors in South Korea, quoted an internal source in the North as saying, “In a recent order by the North Korean National Defense Commission, a consultative body of fisheries officials in the Cabinet recently held a meeting in North Hamkyong Province to reform fishing boat registration and relevant operations.”

The North Korean chief of inter-Korean military working-level talks last week demanded to his South Korean counterpart the prompt return of the 11 defectors, the fourth time Pyongyang requested their repatriation.