S.Korea urges DPRK to release its fishing boat
South Korea on Wednesday urged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to promptly release a South Korean fishing boat that was seized by the DPRK on Sunday, according to Seoul's Ministry of Unification, Xinhua reported.
The government sent a message to the DPRK side Wednesday morning through a western military communication line, in which it called on Pyongyang to free the seven crew members of the seized fishing boat "Daeseung 55" as early as possible in line with international law and conventions and on humanitarian grounds, ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo said at a press briefing.
The DPRK side accepted the message that was sent in the name of South Korea's top Red Cross official to his DPRK counterpart, Lee added.
"We have also asked the North to explain in detail how the fishing boat was seized," Lee said.
The DPRK has yet to offer any word on the seizure, Lee said, noting that Seoul government will continue to keep a close eye on Pyongyang's response and to make more efforts to secure the release of the crew members.
The 41-ton boat "Daeseung 55", with four South Koreans and three Chinese onboard, was seized by the DPRK on Sunday presumably in waters within the DPRK's exclusive economic zone.
It's not yet clear whether the boat was engaged in illegal fishing when it was seized.
Seoul's Coast Guard said it was investigating whether the fishing boat trespassed into the DPRK's exclusive economic zone.