The South Korean Prime Minister apologized to North Korea late last week for a security lapse that allowed a North Korean fishing boat to spend two and a half days in its waters without being noticed.
A 33-foot wooden boat crossed the maritime border with South Korea last week with four North Korean men on board, and docked at Samcheok, a port 80 miles south of the border. One of the four North Koreans then came ashore, telling a South Korean villager that he came from the North and asking to borrow a cellphone so he could call an aunt who had earlier defected to the South.
During an initial interrogation by the South Korean authorities, two of the four North Koreans said they wanted to defect to the South. The other two were returned to the North on Tuesday over the land border.
The government’s apology came on the same day that President Xi Jinping of China arrived in North Korea for a state visit with Kim Jong-un.
South Koreans remain deeply worried about any breach of the border. Nearly two million troops on both sides of the border are on constant alert against possible intruders.
[New York Times]