Saturday, May 28, 2005

Spring 2005 has been a bad time for the Korean Coast Guard

My wife works for the Korean Coast Guard but I have no inside information to leak. This post is mostly based on activities on the West Coast, while we live on the East Coast.

Three public problems have occured this spring. First, a Sokcho fisherman, apparently drunk, was able to defect, by sea, to North Korea. The Coast Guard fired a few warning shots but was unable to stop him.

Second, a ferry transporting tourists from an island to Incheon (or anyway, a port on the Northern West coast) sank and the Coast Guard was slow in rescueing the victims.

Thirdly, in moving to stop illegal fishing, several coast guard personnel were beaten up by the Chinese fishermen they were trying to arrest. The boats escaped but may have returned and these boats and fishermen were arrested.

impounded ships and charged chinese fishermen Posted by Hello

This article describes the two incidences, one that occured on the 24th and the other on the 28th.

May 28, 2005 ㅡ Korean maritime police took into
custody yesterday 35 Chinese fishermen found
operating trawlers in Korean waters in the Yellow
Sea. It may have been at least some of the fishermen's
second violation in a week.

The Incheon branch of the Korea Coast Guard said
it suspected the fishermen were the same ones who
charged at Korean marine police officers with iron
pipes earlier in the week when the police tried
to arrest them.

The fishermen from three fishing boats are
undergoing questioning at Incheon Port, the
Korea Coast Guard said. In confiscating the
fishermen's three boats, the marine police said
they found and seized about 30 weapons, including
iron pipes and hatchets.

The investigators will transfer the case to
prosecutors after they determine if any of the
men were those involved in the earlier fracas.

On Tuesday at around 1:30 a.m. three marine police
officers were injured when they climbed aboard two
Chinese fishing boats caught fishing 48 kilometers
(27 miles) off the west coast.

Twelve marine officers approached the vessels, but
after seizing one boat, they were set upon by 18
fishermen in the other, who charged at them with iron pipes.

I normally have great respect for naval services and I want to again. Here's hoping that they can work in the professional way that the sea requires. And, if the fishermen that attacked the officers are indeed in custody, I hope they have a long sentence coming.

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