South Korea Reports Arrival of Nine Defectors From North

Posted June 15th, 2011 at 4:50 am (UTC-5)
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South Korean officials say they are questioning nine North Koreans who requested asylum after drifting across the two countries' maritime border in a small boat.

Officials say the nine were discovered late Saturday in a Yellow Sea area not far from Yeonpyeong Island, where a North Korean artillery attack killed four South Koreans in November. They said women and children were in the group, which included several members of the same family.

The incident threatens to aggravate already tense relations between the two Koreas. Pyongyang accused the South of kidnapping four North Koreans who chose to remain in South Korea after a boat filled with 31 people drifted across the border by accident in February.

North Korea said recently it will have no more relations with South Korea as long as the current government in Seoul remains in office.