Cruise Liner Party Canceled Over Ferry Owner Flight Fears

The government has revoked the license for a party aboard a Chinese luxury cruise ship in the port of Incheon west of Seoul, due to concerns that fugitive ferry owner Yoo Byung-eon could use the commotion on the ship to flee Korea.

According to Princess Cruises, the luxury Sapphire Princess left Shanghai on June 4 with around 1,500 Chinese tourists and arrived in Incheon on June 6. This is its first port of call in Incheon as part of a six-day trip to Jeju Island. Around 200 Korean guests were invited for the party scheduled for June 6.

But customs officials in Incheon informed the cruise operator just 21 hours in advance that the event could not go ahead.

When Princess Cruises staff protested, a customs official in Incheon reportedly said the cancellation was due to concerns that Yoo may try to stow away aboard the ship.

A Princess Cruises spokesman said it is "extremely offensive" for customs to suggest that security aboard the Sapphire Princess is so lax that a high-profile fugitive can simply stow away onboard

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 16, 2014 10:47 KST