Reports: South Korean coast guard stabbed by Chinese fisherman

Updated: 2011-12-13 07:10

By Zhang Yunbi and Qin Zhongwei (China Daily)

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BEIJING - China is verifying media reports that a South Korean coast guard was killed by a Chinese fisherman who were caught "fishing illegally" in the Yellow Sea off Incheon, west of Seoul, on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Monday.

The South Korean Coast Guard told Yonhap News Agency that one of its commandos was killed and another was injured in stabbings by the Chinese captain.

After being stabbed, the 41-year-old corporal surnamed Lee was rushed to a hospital in Incheon but died soon after arriving there due to severe organ damage, the Coast Guard said, adding that it seized the Chinese fishing boat and all nine crewmembers on board, including the injured captain.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry summoned Chinese Ambassador Zhang Xinsen to protest the fisherman's use of violence, said Yonhap.

Liu said Beijing would like to work with the South Korean authorities to achieve an appropriate solution.

Neither country should make any judgment of the situation before the final result of the investigation comes out, said Huang Youfu, a researcher on Korean studies at Minzu University of China.

Liu said the Chinese fishery regulatory authorities have launched a number of campaigns among fishermen to prevent violent incidents.

The China-South Korea Fishery Agreement was signed in 2000 and took effect in 2001 to promote fishery cooperation and prevent maritime disputes.

In addition to the agreement, both countries established the China-South Korea Joint Fishery Committee, which has held 11 annual meetings to coordinate the coming year's fishery quota and regulate fishery operations.

The committee's 11th annual meeting was held on Oct 20 in East China's Anhui province, where both countries achieved a consensus on the implementation of China-South Korea Fishery Agreement in 2012, according to a news release issued by the fishery bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture on Oct 31.

Both countries also reached a consensus and released details on the further regulation of illegal fishery operations.

Fishermen from both countries should act according to the existing bilateral agreements, said Huang.

Meanwhile, Beijing expects Seoul to ensure the detained Chinese fishermen's legal rights and guarantee their humanitarian treatment, said Liu.

Beijing would like to work with Seoul in a joint drive to promote the healthy development of China-South Korea fishery cooperation, according to Liu.

Shen Mingchun contributed to this story.

China Daily

(China Daily 12/13/2011 page11)