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[EXCLUSIVE] N. Koreans Found in S. Korean Waters Presumed Family

[EXCLUSIVE] N. Koreans Found in S. Korean Waters Presumed Family

Four individuals who crossed the border from North Korea along the coast of Sokcho, Gangwon Province on Tuesday are believed to be members of a family.

A high-ranking government official told KBS that the group of one male and three females are presumed to be part of one family and have reportedly conveyed a wish to defect.

The official said their identities will be confirmed following a joint government investigation.

The group was confirmed to have traveled on a wooden fishing vessel no larger than five tons used by the North Korean military, but were unarmed and not wearing military uniforms when found at sea.

At around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, the South Korean Army first detected the vessel by radar crossing the border into waters some 16 kilometers from land, while a civilian fishing vessel in the area reported the sighting to municipal authorities who in turn notified the Coast Guard.

The Navy and the Coast Guard coordinated an operation to secure the individuals, after which they were reportedly being transported to a nearby port.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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