Friday, July 31, 2009
North Korea naval forces seized four South Korean fishermen and their boat Thursday after the fishermen apparently drifted into North Korean waters.
North Korea's military said in a written message to the South that "the issue of crew members and the vessel will be dealt with according to the outcome of the investigation," according to the Unification Ministry in Seoul. The message provided no word on the fishermen's condition or any other details, the ministry said.
A North Korean navy patrol boat is seen amongst North Korean fishing boats near disputed waters with South Korea
North Korea has a long history of taking South Korean citizens, Japanese, and citizens of other Asian nations and holding them against their will for long periods of time.
A South Korean employee of the two Koreas' joint industrial park in the border town of Kaesong was detained in March for allegedly denouncing Pyongyang's political system. Seoul repeatedly has demanded his release but the North has not allowed access to him.
It is significant to note that as of this time, there is no news update on the fate of US journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, held by the North Koreans since March of this year and recently sentenced to 12 years hard labor. Their fate was commented on 19 July.
Laura Ling and Euna Lee: You Are Not Forgotten.