13 Chinese fishermen held by SK coast guard

By Yang Jingjie Source:Global Times Published: 2013-10-12 0:38:01

China's foreign ministry Friday demanded that South Korea properly handle a fishery dispute in which 13 Chinese fishermen were detained for alleged illegal fishing in South Korean waters.

Hua Chunying, the ministry's spokeswoman, made the remarks at a regular press briefing after South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported Friday that the country's coast guard in Mokpo detained the 120-ton Jifengyu 60015 and 13 crew including the skipper.

On Monday, 14 Chinese fishermen aboard two fishing boats confronted the South's coast guards, who were trying to intercept them for their alleged poaching in South Korean waters, Yonhap reported.

The fishermen reportedly brandished knives and metal pipes during the fight and seriously wounded four coast guards. Two of the fishermen were also injured.

According to China's consulate general in Gwangju, South Korean coast guard are still deciding whether to detain another Chinese fisherman involved in the case.

The Chinese consulate general Monday sent officials to the hospital to visit the two injured fishermen. On the following day, the officials met the other fishermen, who were being held at a local port.

"The consulate general has been keeping contact with the South's coast guards, asking them to ensure the fishermen's rights," a consulate official surnamed Du told the Global Times.

Noting the case has entered judicial proceedings, Du said the consulate would provide help to the fishermen if they refuse to accept their penalty and have difficulties in finding lawyers.

Fishery disputes have become a thorny issue between China and South Korea.

"China will continue strengthening its management over fisheries concerning other countries, requiring Chinese fishermen to carry out fishing in accordance with law. Meanwhile, we hope South Korea can enforce the law in a civilized manner and protect the safety of Chinese fishermen," Hua said, adding that China is willing to work with the South to properly handle the issues and maintain fishery order in relevant waters.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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