A North Korean defector who was living in South Korea crossed the tensely guarded western sea border on a fishing boat he stole, military officials said Thursday, amid high tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The 28-year-old man, only identified as his surname Lee, stole a 9-ton boat on the border island of Yeonpyeong at 10:49 p.m. on Wednesday and sailed across the maritime border called the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea.
"The ship was anchored at a port after being used for fishing during the daytime," a senior military official at the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. "The crab fisherman is seen to have illegally taken the ship at night."
By the time the South Korean Navy detected the ship approaching the NLL, it was already only 1 kilometer from the border, the military officials noted.