S.Korea opens fire to scare off Chinese fishermen

Illegal fishing by Chinese vessels provokes stern response from South Korea's Coast Guard

S.Korea opens fire to scare off Chinese fishermen

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Korea's Coast Guard on Tuesday fired some 180 gunshots to frighten off Chinese fishermen operating illegally off the country’s west coast, it emerged Wednesday.

Around 40 Chinese boats were reportedly caught fishing inside South Korea's exclusive economic zone on Tuesday morning. Six of the vessels challenged a South Korean patrol boat after ignoring initial warnings, according to officials cited by Yonhap News Agency.

The Coast Guard then dispatched reinforcements and scared away the fishermen by firing M-16 machine guns among other weapons. While there was no reported damage this time, there have been several violent clashes in the recent past.

A South Korean officer was killed during a raid on a Chinese fishing boat in 2011, prompting Seoul to appeal for Beijing's support in preventing illegal fishing.

Even though President Moon Jae-in made his first official visit to China last week, bilateral tensions rose Monday when five Chinese warplanes flew in South Korea's air defense identification zone – potentially undermining relations and thereby joint efforts to handle the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Aralık 2017, 09:31