Three sailors died in hospital after they were rescued along with nine others from a cargo ship that sank in the East Sea.
Korean maritime police on Thursday said the 269-ton cargo vessel sent a distress signal at 7:04 a.m. while sinking 548 km northeast of Ulleung Island. Three of the crew were Korean and the other nine Chinese.
Korean maritime police dispatched two patrol planes, two large patrol vessels and two helicopters to the scene, while alerting Russian and Japanese maritime police for assistance. Japanese maritime security forces dispatched one aircraft, two helicopters and two patrol boats, while the U.S. Navy assisted by dispatching two patrol aircraft.
Two Japanese naval helicopters rescued all 12 crew at around 2:06 p.m. from a rubber dinghy. They were flown to a hospital near an air base in Niigata, Japan, but two Koreans and one Chinese died.