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North Korea frees 4 South Korean fishermen

Last Updated: Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 14:30

Seoul: North Korea freed four South Korean fishermen and their boat on Saturday after holding them for a month because their boat strayed into northern waters, South Korea`s Coast Guard said on Saturday.
North Korean authorities handed over the fishermen and their boat to Coast Guard officials at the Koreas` shared eastern border, said Kim Tae-jong, a Coast Guard spokesman at the eastern port of Sokcho, 130 miles (210 kilometres) east of Seoul.

Two Coast Guard vessels escorted the South Koreans to Sokcho, Kim said.

The fishing boat strayed into northern waters July 30 after encountering difficulties with its satellite navigation system.

The release of the South Korean men was the latest in a string of goodwill gestures in the past month that indicate Pyongyang`s desire to patch up relations with Seoul and Washington.

Kim said the fishermen would undergo a medical check-up before a debriefing with officials.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 14:30

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