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North Korea Sends Back South Korean Fishing Boat, Crew

North Korea's announcement on Saturday came hours before US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis visited the heavily-armed land border between the Koreas and stressed Washington's commitment to defend ally Seoul against North Korean threats.

AFP

Updated:October 28, 2017, 7:52 AM IST
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North Korea Sends Back South Korean Fishing Boat, Crew
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Photo: Reuters)
Seoul: North Korea says it will send back a South Korean fishing boat and its crew who were detained for crossing the eastern sea border between the rivals.

North Korea's announcement on Saturday came hours before US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis visited the heavily-armed land border between the Koreas and stressed Washington's commitment to defend ally Seoul against North Korean threats.

Experts say it's unclear whether the North's gesture reflects intentions to improve relations with the South amid heightened animosity over Pyongyang's expanding nuclear programme.

Seoul's Unification Ministry says North Korea last detained a South Korean fishing boat in 2010 before repatriating it.

South Korea often sends back North Korean fishermen who enter its waters, but it's more unusual for better-equipped South Korean boats to drift into the North.
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