Seoul: Seven North Koreans were returned home on Friday after their fishing boats drifted to South Korea across the tense maritime line between the countries, officials said.
On Thursday, South Korea`s military rescued four North Koreans facing drowning in the Yellow Sea after their two damaged boats were found near a South Korean island. Separately, three other people on a different boat were found but they were returned to the North after the South provided them fuel early Friday morning.
South Korea`s Red Cross said in a statement that the four rescued were also returned to the North later Friday across the land border between the countries after they expressed their wish to go back during questioning.
The Red Cross, which often handles humanitarian affairs with North Korea, said the four had been fishing before their boats separately drifted south.
Tensions have been high in the area since a deadly North Korean artillery attack on a South Korean island last year.