North Korea has freed four South Korean fishermen after one
month in detention. It is the latest goodwill gesture from the
reclusive state in recent weeks. From Seoul, Jason Strother has
Four South Korean fishermen and their vessel were released Saturday after a one month detention in North Korea.
Families of the ship's crew are elated they are finally coming home.
Ah Na whose husband is the boat's captain, thanked the South Korean
government for winning his freedom. She says though, that she is
worried about his health.
Pyongyang accused the fishermen of
intruding into its territorial waters on July 30. Seoul maintains
that their ship's navigational equipment malfunctioned, causing them to
Fishermen from both Koreas often find themselves on
the wrong side of their nations' maritime border. Seoul and Pyongyang
disagree on exactly where that demarcation line lies.
Koreas were divided in 1945 and remain technically at war since their
1950-53 war ended only with a ceasefire agreement.
today's release is seen as another sign that relations between the two
states are improving. On Friday, North and South Korea agreed to
resume reunions for separated families after a two-year freeze.
Pyongyang has also proposed to restart joint tourism projects with the
South and earlier this month released a detained South Korean engineer
from a joint industrial complex.
Both Seoul and Washington
have welcomed these goodwill gestures, but say that North Korea must
fulfill its pledges to end its nuclear weapons program. Pyongyang
walked away from negotiations earlier this year.