Unidentified Ship Defects to N. Korea

      April 13, 2005 19:23

      An unidentified ship defected to North Korea over the Northern Limit Line (NLL) early Wednesday afternoon. It was spotted 2.7 km off the coast of Jeojin Harbor, Goseong County, Gangwon Province at around 3:54 p.m.

      South Korean coastal border guards fired some 20 warning shots from a 60 mm mortar, 106 mm recoilless rifle and MG50 machine gun, but were unable to stop the ship crossing the NLL.

      The incident reveals worrying holes in the Army and Navy’s guard and patrol activities in the East Sea. As of 6 p.m., the identity and type of the ship remain uncertain.

      "Our coastal sentry posts fired only warning shots,” an official from the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. “I understand they didn’t aim at the vessel, so the ship wasn't sunk."

      At the time of the incident, Unification Minister Chung Dong-young was making a tour of a part of the DMZ patrolled by the very unit involved in the shooting. He was inspecting progress on reconnecting a railway line that crosses through the eastern section of the DMZ. Chung had stopped by an obesrvation post and was passing by the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine office of the Donghae Railway Line when the unit commanders he was talking to were called away to take command of the situation.

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