31 N.Koreans Cross into S.Korean Waters

      February 07, 2011 10:30

      Thirty-one North Koreans crossed the Northern Limit Line near Yeonpyeong Island in a fishing boat on Saturday morning. A government official on Monday said the ship with 11 men and 20 women aboard is presumed to have set out from Nampo in Hwanghae Province at 11 a.m. Saturday.

      The 31 are now being questioned in Incheon, where they were taken by a South Korean naval vessel, the official added. "The North Koreans onboard are not members of a family but a work team and seem to have crossed the NLL involuntarily," he said.

      A military spokesman said Yeonpyeong Island "is only about a dozen kilometers from the North Korean coast, and there have been several cases where North Koreans either drifted down to the island or defected that way."

      "The trawler crossed the NLL slowly, so it's more likely to have been a mistake," he added. "But as some of them have expressed a desire to defect, we're investigating that possibility as well."

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