Monday, August 9, 2010

South Korean boat held by North Korea

I guess if the US is cracking down on your financial resources abroad and hold joint military exercises with South Korea aimed at stopping your subs, then I guess the best course of action is to kidnap some South Koreans and try to extract concessions from the ROK.

From BBC:
Authorities in the boat's home South Korean port of Pohang said the Daeseung had stopped sending signals after a fishing trip in the Sea of Japan, known in Korea as the East Sea, on Saturday.

The South Korean coastguard said in a statement: "We have found out that our fishing vessel is being investigated by North Korean officials in the presumed North Korea exclusive economic waters in the northern East Sea.

"The South Korean government, according to international law, wants the swift resolution to the matter and the safe return of its vessel and its fisherman."

The vessel has four South Koreans and three Chinese on board.

Media reports in the South say the Daeseung is being towed to the Northern port of Songjin.

North Korean media has so far made no comment on the latest reports.
The story is also in Yonhap, the New York Times, the Washington PostAP, the Christian Science Monitor, and even Xinhua (since the North Koreans are also holding a few Chinese).

In the past, South Koreans held by the North (as in Kaesŏng workers or Korean War POWs) were largely forgotten by the media, which wouldn't bode well for the crew of the Taesŭng (Daeseung). But this may have changed, ever since President Lee Myungbak bowed deeply to the nation for the sinking of the Ch'ŏnan and discovered a pair of cojones while he was looking down.

While the South Korean media is only slightly more predictable than their counterparts in the North, if I were a betting man, I'd wager that this incident will be highlighted to some degree in the press, if only because it drives home the point that the North Koreans are still up to no good.

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