Four people were injured when Chinese fishermen attacked coast guards who caught them fishing illegally in Korean waters 72 km northwest of Heuksan Island on Monday. The fight ensued when Korean officers boarded their 207-ton trawler.
A boat of the Korean Coast Guard which was patrolling nearby waters chased the ship and successfully captured it at around 4:15 a.m. Nine of the 16 fishermen were arrested and taken to Mokpo Port.
When coast guard sergeant Lee Cheong-ho was stabbed to death by a Chinese skipper in December last year, Chinese President Hu Jintao promised that his government will do its best to prevent it from happening again. In a meeting with President Lee Myung-bak in Beijing in January, Hu pledged to strengthen controls of Chinese fishermen and cooperation with Korean authorities. But the situation has not improved.
As of Monday, the West Sea Fisheries Supervision Office had stopped 110 Chinese fishing vessels this year, much more than the 60 for the whole of 2010. The number this year is likely to exceed last year's record of 172.