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(LEAD) N. Korean boat enters S. Korean waters

All News 20:43 July 01, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more info from 2nd para)

SEOUL, July 1 (Yonhap) -- A small North Korean boat carrying five sailors crossed the maritime border into South Korean waters Saturday, a government source said.

The small boat was spotted near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the East Sea and was guided southward by the maritime police, according to the official.

The NLL is the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas.

The maritime police are interviewing the five sailors, some of whom are said to be expressing their desire to defect to the South.

The incident happened after South Korea rescued a North Korean boat drifting in waters off its east coast on June 23 due to engine problems. Days later, the eight sailors on board were sent back home as they requested.

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