One Fisherman Dead, Many Injured in Sino-ROK Naval Clash
The news just came in that a Chinese fisherman has died and dozens were injured when Chinese fishing vessels clashed with South Korean patrol boats in disputed territory off the coast of South Korea near Gunsan city.
About 50 Chinese fishing boats were reportedly illegally fishing in the disputed territory when a South Korean ship approached them. As you see in the video, South Korean coast guard officials were then repelled back by Chinese fisherman wielding metal rods and shovels. During the confrontation, one of the Chinese vessels apparently intentionally hit the larger South Korean coast guard ship to allow the other Chinese vessels to sail back to their waters, and then capsized.
Eight people from the capsized boat were plucked from the sea, but one was unconscious and later died at a Gusan hospital, the South Korean coast guard office said in a statement.
This will undoubtedly ratchet up tensions and increase consternation between China and South Korea at a time of heightened conflict on the Korean Peninsula. Sino-ROK relations have taken a nose dive ever since the Cheonan sinking and North Korean shelling of Yeonpyeong island, in which China acted cautiously in denouncing North Korean actions.
This takes on added significance in light of the South Korean military reaffirming its plans to conduct live-fire military drills near Yeonpyeong island tomorrow.