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Korean Officials Injured in Chinese Vessel Raid

30 April 2012

SOUTH KOREA - Four South Korean officials were injured after they boarded a Chinese vessel suspected of illegally fishing in South Korean waters, maritime officials said.

The incident took place around 2:30 a.m. in waters about 72 kilometers northwest of Heuksan Island in Shinan County, South Jeolla Province, reports YonhapNewsAgency

One official who boarded the 227-ton Chinese vessel fell into the sea after being hit with a blunt instrument but was rescued by a South Korean Coast Guard boat.

The remaining three officials sustained severe and minor injuries to their heads, arms and legs in an attack by the Chinese fishermen, who brandished knives and scythes.

It was not immediately clear whether their injuries were life-threatening. They were taken by a helicopter to a hospital in the coastal city of Mokpo, 410 km south of Seoul, and are being treated, officials said.

The Korea Coast Guard seized the Chinese ship and nine sailors aboard at 4:45 a.m., officials said.

The four injured officials work for the West Sea Fisheries Supervision Office, which is affiliated with the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Chinese vessels have been frequently caught poaching in South Korean waters in the Yellow Sea.

South Korea has vowed a tougher crackdown against illegal fishing by Chinese boats since one of its Coast Guard officers was fatally stabbed to death by a Chinese captain in a raid last December.

The death sparked public outrage in South Korea and led the two governments to work toward preventing illegal fishing.

TheFishSite News Desk



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