A North Korean flag was seen flying on an illegally operating Chinese fishing boat seized by the South Korean Coast Guard. The vessel is believed to have trespassed into South Korean waters after paying fishing rights fees to North Korea.
A Coast Guard speedboat pursues a Chinese fishing vessel illegally operating in Korean waters. But a North Korean flag, not a Chinese one, is seen hanging at the front of the fleeing Chinese vessel. Another Chinese fishing boat is likewise flying a North Korean flag. Two of three Chinese vessels seized by the South Korean Coast Guard carried North Korean flags. The Coast Guard believes the vessels paid North Korea and were illegally operating in Korean waters.
[Soundbite] Coast Guard Official : "The seized vessels are believed to have paid fishing fees to North Korea and were operating in Korean waters. We are investigating the matter."
The three captured Chinese vessels were taken to an exclusive Coast Guard wharf in Incheon, where the North Korean flags were removed. There has been a precedent of a Chinese fishing boat flying a North Korean flag and fishing north of the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea before being arrested upon sailing into South Korean waters. South Korea's National Intelligence Service reported to the National Assembly Intelligence Committee in July that North Korea sold 30 million dollars worth of fishing rights to China this year.