SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea sent military vessels to repel Chinese fishing boats that were illegally harvesting prized blue crabs near the disputed sea boundary between the Koreas before the fishermen retreated Friday, South Korean officials said.
Four naval and marine boats entered neutral waters around South Korea’s Ganghwa island to chase away about 10 Chinese boats, which by afternoon had escaped into North Korea-controlled waters, said a Defense Ministry official who didn’t want to be named, citing office rules.
The operation was approved by the United Nations Command that governs the zone where fishing activity is prohibited.
Depending on weather and water conditions, the operation will resume Saturday and continue until the Chinese boats withdraw further, the Defense Ministry official said. The South Korean military and maritime police personnel who carried out the mission were accompanied by translators and two monitors from United Nations Command.