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Seoul: China should face up to seriousness of recent Coast Guard boat sinking

All Headlines 18:52 October 11, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Yonhap) -- China should face up to the seriousness of a recent clash between the South Korean Coast Guard and illegal Chinese fishing vessels in which a South Korean speedboat was sunk, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

"Our government expects Beijing to recognize the gravity and seriousness of the latest incident and face up to the fact that there were serious acts of defiance against our law enforcement officers by Chinese fishermen illegally poaching in our seas," ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said during a regular press briefing.

On Friday, Chinese fishing vessels that were illegally operating in the South Korean side of the Yellow Sea slammed into a 4.5-ton speedboat belonging to the South Korean Coast Guard while it was carrying out a crackdown operation.

The official's comment comes as the Chinese foreign ministry played down the issue, even urging South Korea's restraint in dealing with the sinking.

"South Korea should deal with the incident in a cool-headed and sensible manner in consideration of bilateral relations and regional stability," Chinese ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a briefing a day earlier.

In protest of the sinking, South Korea's deputy foreign minister Kim Hyong-zhin summoned Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Qiu Guohong to his office earlier in the day to lodge a formal complaint over the sinking.

No injuries or casualties were incurred from the sinking, but it has triggered strong calls in South Korea to handle illegal Chinese shipping vessels more sternly.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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