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Chinese vessel caught illegally fishing in South Korea

By Wooyoung Lee
Chinese vessel caught illegally fishing in South Korea
A Korea Coast Guard ship (L) illuminates a Chinese fishing boat stopped for allegedly illegally operating in South Korea's territorial waters off Gageo Island in the Yellow Sea on Jan. 15, 2013. EPA

SEOUL, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- South Korea's coast guard said it captured a Chinese fishing boat that was illegally fishing near the waters off a South Korea's northernmost island.

The Korea Coast Guard said it seized a 30-ton boat that trespassed the Northern Limit Line, a maritime demarcation line in the West Sea between North and South Korea, near Baekryeong island.

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The boat crossed South Korea's sea border with North Korea and sailed four miles west of Baekryeong island at around 12:19 a.m. The coast guard ordered to stop but it fled despite the warning, according to Yonhap News.

The boat allegedly had iron gratings ready at each side of the boat to respond to a possible clash with South Korean forces, the report said. Six fishermen were on board with some 705 pounds of catch, including turban shells.

Coast guard officials said that they will investigate the fishermen.

So far this year, a total of 21 Chinese fishing boats have been caught illegally fishing in South Korea and some 1,020 boats have been ordered to evict, according to South Korea's west coast guard.

Illegal fishing by Chinese boats has been a source of diplomatic tension between South Korea and China.

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