S.Korea coast guard fires at Chinese boats

By Global Times – AFP Source:Global Times - AFP Published: 2016/11/3 0:38:39

South Korean coastguard vessels have, for the first time, fired machine guns against Chinese boats fishing in Korean waters, according to officials from South Korea.

China's foreign ministry said Wednesday that China was "strongly dissatisfied" since South Korea used deadly weapons against unarmed fishing boats in the action and urged Seoul to "discipline" its coastguard.

"Using destructive weapons can easily injure fishermen and we urge the ROK [South Korea] side to ... avoid using any excessive or extreme tools in their law enforcement activities," spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

"The Chinese side has said many times that responsible government agencies attach great importance to and vigorously strengthening the management and control of Chinese fishermen's activities.

"At the same time, [China] hopes the South Korean side will enhance its communication and coordination with the Chinese side in handling issues occurring in the fishery industry."

No casualties were reported from the incident on Tuesday, the first of its kind since the coastguard announced last month that it would pursue a "more aggressive" firearms policy with Chinese trawlers.

Disputes over fishing matters have dogged relations between South Korea and China for years, and there have been numerous clashes between the  South Korean coastguard and Chinese crew members.


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