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N. Korea Stays Mum on Seized SK Fishing Boat

Posted August. 10, 2010 11:24,   


North Korea for the second straight day Monday said nothing about a South Korean fishing boat it seized Sunday.

Families of the Daeseung 55’s crew are worried over a prolonged situation and fishermen in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, also fear an adverse impact on their operations.

South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said, “We asked the North for prompt action and the release of the crew but it didn’t send an official notice through military landline phones.”

Seoul remains hesitant to disclose the exact location of the boat when it was seized but is known to have confirmed that the boat did cross the North’s exclusive economic zone.

While South Korean fishing boats have crossed North Korean territorial waters before due to breakdown or error, the Daeseung 55 might have entered the zone to fish. This could explain Seoul’s cautious stance on the matter pending Pyongyang’s release of details.

The Pohang Fisheries Information Network is considering whether to increase the number of reports, which is limited to once a day in general coastal waters and three times daily in special coastal waters. Fishing boats will not be restricted from departing, however.

A Pohang maritime police source said, “There’s no way we can prevent fishing boats from operating in permitted waters. All we can do is to ask them to use caution in not entering the exclusive economic zone.”

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