By Lee Hyo-sik
The Coast Guard shot at violent Chinese sailors illegally fishing in South Korean waters in the West Sea, Thursday.
At around 3 p.m. the Coast Guard captured two Chinese fishing boats 64 miles west of Taean, South Chungcheong Province, as they had entered seven miles into Korea’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and were there without a permit, according to the Taean Coast Guard Division.
When the Coast Guard attempted to board the Chinese vessels, the sailors forcefully resisted, threatening the Korean officers with sharp objects. In accordance with protocol, the officers used a firearm to subdue the 10 violence-wielding sailors. During the violent confrontation, one coast guard was wounded, and one Chinese sailor sustained a gunshot wound to the leg.
It was the first incident of a Korean Coast Guard firing at Chinese fishermen for crossing marine borders illegally, a move aimed to send a strong message to those who attempt to operate in the nation’s waters in the future.
The captured sailors were taken to a hospital in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, by helicopter for treatment. None of the injuries were life-threatening.
The maritime police said it will fine each Chinese vessel 30 million won for illegally fishing in Korea’s waters, as well as book those who attacked the officers on charges of obstructing police duties.