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Seoul: 2 North Korean fishermen defect to South Korea

/ 03:21 PM June 18, 2019
Seoul: 2 North Korean fishermen defect to South Korea

In this April 18, 2018 file photo, two South Korean soldiers, center and left, and U.S. soldier, right, stand in the southern side during a press tour at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

SEOUL — South Korea said two of four North Korean fishermen who were rescued off a boat drifting in South Korean waters will remain in the country after expressing their desire to defect.

Seoul’s Unification Ministry on Tuesday said the two other fishermen were sent back to North Korea through an inter-Korean village.

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The defections by the two fishermen come at a delicate time in bilateral relations between the Koreas. North Korea has significantly reduced its dialogue and engagement with South Korea since February, when a high-stakes nuclear summit between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump collapsed over disagreements on exchanging sanctions relief for disarmament. /kga

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TAGS: Defector, International news, news, North korea, South korea, world, world news
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