[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

N Koreans missing after cargo ship sinks

Mongolian-flagged ship sinks off South Korea with 11 North Korean crew missing and bodies of two recovered.

Last updated: 04 Apr 2014 07:46
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Three North Korean crew members have been rescued by South Korea's coastguard [AP]

A Mongolian-flagged cargo ship has sunk off the southern coast of South Korea, with most of the 16 North Korean crew members on board missing, and two bodies recovered.

Three people were rescued and identified themselves as part of a North Korean crew on the ship, South Korean coastguard officials said in a statement. A search effort was under way for the other 11 crew members still missing.

The rescued crew members were taken to a South Korean hospital for treatment, according to the coastguard.

The ship sent a distress signal early on Friday in waters about 130km south of the southern port city of Yeosu, the Associated Press news agency reported.

The Grand Fortune 1 was sailing from the Chongjin region on North Korea's east coast for a Chinese port carrying iron ore, said one official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The vessel sails regularly between North Korea and China, according to the Reuters news agency's ship tracking system.

The coastguard said it had mobilised 13 vessels and six aircraft to search for the ship and its crew members, despite high waves and strong winds hampering rescue operations.

It was not immediately known how South Korea would handle the rescued North Korean sailors, though Seoul usually repatriates North Korean sailors found drifting in South Korean waters if they want to return home.

On Monday, the rival Koreas fired hundreds of artillery shells into each other's waters in a flaring of hostilities.

The Korean Peninsula remains officially at war. The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

272

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.