SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan expressed regrets Friday over the death of a Chinese fisherman killed during a crackdown on illegal fishing in South Korean waters, saying close consultations are underway with China over the incident.
In expressing remorse over the Tuesday incident, however, Kim also pointed out that the Chinese fisherman violently challenged South Korean law enforcement officers by wielding lethal weapons.
"It was regrettable that the incident happened during a crackdown against illegal fishing by Chinese vessels, but it should be understood that there was a violent resistance," Kim told reporters.
Kim said that South Korea and China have been in "close consultations" over the incident.
The Chinese fisherman, surnamed Zhang, was killed aboard his ship after allegedly being hit by a rubber bullet fired by a South Korean Coast Guard officer on Tuesday. About 30 Chinese vessels were illegally fishing in South Korean waters of the Yellow Sea at the time.
Chinese Ambassador Zhang Xinsen met with South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Ahn Ho-young on Friday and discussed the death of the Chinese fisherman. Ministry officials said Zhang delivered China's stance over the incident.
This week, Seoul's foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young also expressed regret over the incident and "offered condolences to the bereaved family, regardless of who should bear responsibility for this."
South Korea's Coast Guard is investigating the exact cause of the death of the Chinese fisherman. In five-minute video footage shown to journalists, the Chinese fisherman, together with several other colleagues, was attacking South Korean Coast Guard officers with handsaws, shovels, pointed steel pipes and other lethal weapons.
One of the Coast Guard officers fired five rubber bullets, one of which appears to have fatally hit the victim in the chest. It will be the first known case of fatality by a rubber bullet, if the cause of the death is confirmed through further investigation.
- Special investigation unlikely to have big effect on presidential vote
- Ahn Cheol-soo's bid transforms presidential election into 3-way race
- Political bickering intensifies over Park's defense of father's legacy
- Turbulence ahead for S. Korea's fighter jet purchase
- S. Korea's presidential race dominated by uncertainty, call for change
- Japan under fire for denying responsibility for wartime sexual enslavement
- U.S. jury verdict may stall Samsung's smartphone ambition
- Park Geun-hye faces tough challenges in run-up to Dec. 19 polls
- S. Korea, Japan on collision course again over historical issues
- Lee's surprise visit to Dokdo raises tensions with Japan
- 'Global Korea' pitch hit by human trafficking record
- Past legacy helps and hinders Park's bid for first female president
- Lee champions free trade, green growth during Latin American swing
- Big morale-booster for 'Queen of Elections' in S. Korean polls
- N. Korea loses more than gains from rocket gambit
- Seoul meeting a rehearsal for tougher diplomacy on N. Korea's rocket launch
- Rival parties heating up campaign for April's general elections
- Lee faces full plate of tough issues in final year in office
- Lee wins Olympics, African foothold during 10-day summit diplomacy
- Lee's tireless behind-the-scenes campaign for PyeongChang bears big fruit
- President, opposition leader meet, with little progress
- Lee tightening discipline in officialdom amid series of corruption cases
- Row simmering over role of SNS in S. Korea
Home > National > Politics/Diplomacy