October 27, 2017 / 2:01 AM / in a year

South Korea says will accept release of South Korean fishing boat from North Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea said on Friday it will accept the release of a South Korean fishing boat captured by North Korea later in the day, with a government spokesman saying it is “a relief” the crewmen on board would be returned.

The South’s Unification Ministry’s spokesman Baik Tae-hyun said the North’s message via its state agency early on Friday was the first contact Seoul had received regarding the vessel, Baik told a regular media briefing.

The fishing boat, which left port on Oct. 16, had been reported as missing from Oct. 21 and relevant authorities had been searching for the vessel, Baik added. North Korea said it had captured the boat on Oct. 21 and will release it at 0930 GMT on Friday in waters off the east coast.

Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Michael Perry

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