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S. Korea, China open talks on illegal fishing

2016/07/05 13:24

SEOUL, July 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and China kicked off talks Tuesday to find a solution to the issue of illegal fishing by Chinese fishermen in South Korean waters.

The ninth round of bilateral talks on fisheries issues opened in Gwangju, 329 kilometers south of Seoul, following the recent capture of a Chinese fishing vessel by South Korean fishermen and the Korean military's operations to repel Chinese boats.

The closed-door meeting is being led by deputy director-general level officials from the two countries' foreign ministries, with Coast Guard and fishery authorities also in attendance.

The South Korean officials urged the Chinese side to draw up practical measures to root out the illegal practice, according to a source with knowledge of the talks.

The source also said it is highly likely that the South Korean side raised the issue of North Korea's sales of fishing rights to China.

According to South Korea's National Intelligence Service, North Korea sold China the rights to fish in its waters in exchange for US$30 million.

South Korea is asking China to prevent its fishing vessels from crossing into South Korean waters near the inter-Korean maritime border in the Yellow Sea, the source said.