Conflicts & War

Seoul investigates disappearance of official at northern border

Seoul, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- South Korea is investigating the disappearance of an official along its disputed maritime border with North Korea, Seoul said on Wednesday.

Authorities in South Korea fear the worker from the ministry of fisheries may have been captured by the neighboring country.

The 47-year-old, whom authorities have only referred to as A, was reported missing to the coast guard at around noon on Monday.

His colleagues were unable to locate him aboard the fishing monitoring vessel they were working on that day and found only his shoes had been left behind.

The vessel was investigating allegations of illegal fishing around two kilometers south of Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea, approximately five miles from the disputed maritime border with North Korea.

South Korean authorities said the missing official was in North Korean territory the following afternoon.

“According to military intelligence, he was found and apprehended in North Korean waters on the afternoon of the 22 and we are carefully analyzing that information,” the ministry of fisheries said in a statement.

The ministry added that it will review the information with North Korea and continue to investigate the incident.

An anonymous source from the South Korean armed forces told state-run South Korean Yonhap news agency that the official may still be alive.

The waters in the area of the Yellow Sea were calm on the day of his disappearance.

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