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N. Korea to repatriate captured S. Korean boat in 'humanitarian' step

2017/10/27 07:07

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SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Friday it will repatriate a South Korean boat and its crew in a "humanitarian" step after the vessel had entered the North's waters.

The North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that North Korean authorities had captured a South Korean fishing boat "391 Hungjin" Saturday, when it "illegally intruded into waters of the East Sea" under North Korean control.

According to the report, the subsequent investigation showed the South Korean crew had "deliberately" entered North Korean waters to fish.

But the North Korean authorities decided to send them home at 6 p.m. Friday, Pyongyang time, or 5:30 p.m. in Seoul.

"The DPRK side decided to repatriate the boat and its crew from the humanitarian point of view, taking into account the fact that all the crewmen honestly admitted their offence, repeatedly apologizing and asking for leniency," the KCNA's English-language report said, referring to the North by its full name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "It will repatriate the boat and its crew at the designated waters of the military boundary line in the East Sea."

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