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N. Korean wooden boat crosses into S.Korean waters

Posted July. 29, 2019 08:02,   

Updated July. 29, 2019 08:02


A wooden boat for food procurement of the North Korean army crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) of the East Sea in the middle of the night, while three North Koreans were onboard. The South Korean military authorities are holding them in custody and investigating their intention of crossing the NLL.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff reported Sunday that the military detected the wooden boat crossing the NLL at around 11:21 p.m. on Saturday. South Korean Navy vessels were dispatched right away for an on-the-spot survey, and the North Koreans were sent to the Republic of Korea Navy 1st Fleet on early Saturday morning.

The North Koreans said that they “mistakenly” drove the boat out of its course and did not want to defect North Korea. However, the South Korean military has not ruled out the possibility of defection as a piece of white cloth was hanging on the boat’s mast (vertical pillar on the deck), which represents an intention to defect North Korea, and the boat was not adrift because it had an engine.

“One of them was wearing a military uniform, but further investigations are needed to find out if he is in the military,” said an insider at the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Civilians also can sail on military vessels.”

Hyo-Ju Son hjson@donga.com