S. Korean sailors give gift to North
March 29, 2003
SEOUL — North Korean boaters who drifted into southern territory in the Yellow Sea on Tuesday received a gift from South Korean sailors: a compass, said South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The two North Korean boats — one tugging the other — crossed the Northern Limit Line, the sea border dividing North and South Korea, said Maj. Lee Dong-chan, public affairs officer.
No North Korean military vessels were involved, he said. The boats returned across the line about 75 minutes later without incident.
Three high-speed South Korean navy vessels responded, warning the ships through a loudspeaker, Lee said. The weather was foggy, and strong currents swept the ships southward, Lee said.
Lee said the North Korean sailors weren’t really equipped for navigation, so the South Korean sailors gave them a compass.
The U.N. Command established the Northern Limit Line after the Korean War but North Korea doesn’t recognize it. In June, a North Korean warship sank a southern patrol boat, killing four sailors and injuring 19.
— Choe Song-won contributed to this report.