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Seoul mulls addressing China over illegal fishing incident

All Headlines 17:02 October 08, 2013
Chinese fishermen attacking Korean coast guards

Seoul mulls addressing China over illegal fishing incident

SEOUL, Oct. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is considering expressing regret to China over a violent incident in which local coast guard officers were hurt while cracking down on illegal Chinese fishermen, a government official said Tuesday.

Four South Korean coast guard officers were seriously wounded on Monday while trying to arrest 14 Chinese fishermen brandishing knives and metal pipes. They were caught fishing illegally off the southwest coast.

"We are reviewing delivering our government's regret over the incident through a proper diplomatic channel," the official at the foreign ministry said.

Seoul is expected to tap its diplomatic channel with China in order to deliver the message, which will also include calls on the government to better regulate Chinese fishing boats illegally crossing into the South Korean sea, he said.

Illegal Chinese fishing on the South Korean side of the Yellow Sea remains a thorny issue between the two neighbors, despite Seoul's previous calls on the Chinese government to help stop the practice.

Many South Korean coast guard officers have been wounded while fighting illegal Chinese fishermen, who often resort to severe violence to escape local crackdowns.

The Coast Guard has sought arrest warrants for all 14 of the Chinese crewmen aboard the 120-ton fishing boat.


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