- Title: South Korea vows to use greater force against Chinese fishing boats
- Date: 11th October 2016
- Summary: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (OCTOBER 11, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VICE ADMINISTRATOR OF SOUTH KOREAN COAST GUARD, LEE CHOON-JAE, AND OFFICIALS WALKING TOWARDS PODIUM AND BOWING JOURNALISTS LISTENING LEE STANDING AT PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) VICE ADMINISTRATOR OF SOUTH KOREAN COAST GUARD, LEE CHOON-JAE, SAYING: "We will actively respond to Chinese fishing boats that obstruct justice by using all possible means if needed such as resisting violently, directly hitting and gaining control of those Chinese fishing boats as well as firing common weapons." JOURNALISTS LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) VICE ADMINISTRATOR OF SOUTH KOREAN COAST GUARD, LEE CHOON-JAE, SAYING: "We don't take any physical sanctions against illegally operating vessels if they cooperate and comply with our crackdown. However, like this incident, when there is a physical confrontation or an attempt to sink our patrol ship, we will definitely exert governmental power and strongly respond." NEWS BRIEFING IN PROGRESS EXTERIOR OF SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT COMPLEX SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT FLAG
- Embargoed: 26th October 2016 08:27
- Keywords: China South Korea fishing vessels coast guard illegal fishing
- Location: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- City: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00153K8D39
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:South Korea said on Tuesday (October 11) it would use greater force, including firearms, against Chinese boats fishing illegally in its waters and summoned China's ambassador to protest against a clash between a Chinese vessel and a coast guard boat.
South Korea's coast guard said that its officers would be authorised to use firearms including handguns and onboard cannon against illegal Chinese fishing vessels if deemed threatening.
"We will actively respond to Chinese fishing boats that obstruct justice by using all possible means if needed such as resisting violently, directly hitting and gaining control of those Chinese fishing boats as well as firing common weapons," said Lee Choon-jae, deputy chief of South Korea's coast guard.
Lee added the South Korean coastguards would not take any physical action if illegally operating vessels cooperated.
South Korea's Ministry of Public Safety and Security, which oversees the coast guard, said one of its patrol boats sank last week during an operation to crack down on a group of Chinese vessels fishing illegally off the Korean peninsula's west coast after being rammed by one of the Chinese vessels.
No injuries were reported from the incident.
The Chinese vessel that collided with the South Korean coast guard boat fled the scene and have returned to its home port, according to South Korean coast guard.
South Korean Deputy Minister for Political Affairs, Kim Hyoung-zhin, told the Chinese ambassador, Qiu Guohong, that the incident was "a challenge to public power," according to South Korean foreign ministry.
China's coast guard is also looking into the incident to identify the fishing boat accused of crashing into the South Korean coast guard vessel after requests by its South Korean counterpart, the Ministry of Public Safety and Security said in a statement on Monday (October 10).
South Korean coastguard vessels regularly chase Chinese boats for fishing illegally off its coast, at times resulting in violent confrontations at sea.
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