South Korea has deported two North Korean fishermen on November 7, after finding information that they have killed 16 other crew members on the boat and then fled to South Korean waters, according to the officials. According to Seoul's Unification Ministry, the two young fishermen were captured in their boat south of the countries’ eastern sea border last Saturday. The Ministry said that the South Korean investigation later found that the two fishermen had killed 16 colleagues including the captain.
According to the Ministry, this is the first time South Korea has deported any North Korean national. Lee Sang-min, the ministry of the spokesperson said that South Korea has taken the decision to expel the two fishermen to North Korea because they were criminals who could not be recognized as refugees under international laws. According to the investigation, 19 people were present in the ship when it left the North's Kimchaek port on its east coast in August. While fishing, the two men united with another crew and killed the captain, who they said had abused them. Then the trio killed 15 other men to cover up the whole incident.
The Ministry said that the three went back to Kimchaek port with the intention of moving to another region of North Korea. But the third fishermen were arrested near the port while the other two managed to escape using the same boat. When they sailed across the sea border last week they were chased down by South Korean Navy ship which fired warning shots at them. Then they were captured by the South Korean navy on Saturday. They later told the investigators that they wanted to resettle the case in South Korea but South Korean authorities determined they only wanted to avoid North Korean arrest and informed North about their planned deportation, according to the ministry.