South, North Korean ships collide, 3 North Korean fishermen missing

A South Korean ship collided with a North Korean fishing boat in waters north of the sea border, leaving three fishermen missing, an official from the South said Tuesday.

The collision took place 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) north of the countries' maritime border off the west coast Monday evening as the South Korean ship Hyunsung was returning after loading sand from a North Korean port, said Coast Guard official Chang Soo-pyo.

Four North Koreans were aboard the fishing boat, but only one was rescued. North Korean authorities detained the South Korean ship and its 10 crew are being held by for questioning, Chang said.

The Unification Ministry said the North has told the South Korean government that it will return the South Korean crew as soon the interrogation is over, but that it was unclear how long that would take, reports AP.

The two Koreas remain divided after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, but relations between the North and South have improved since a 2000 summit between their leaders.

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