SEOUL, South Korea – A South Korean coast guard officer was killed and another injured Monday when they were stabbed by a Chinese captain whose boat was stopped for suspected illegal fishing in South Korean waters, officials said.
Two Chinese boats were stopped in Yellow Sea waters rich in blue crabs, anchovies and croaker, but details of the fight were unclear, coast guard officials said.
The officials, who declined to give their names because of the sensitivity of the situation, said the captain of one of the boats stabbed the South Korean officers.
The officers were taken to a hospital in the port city of Incheon. Nine Chinese fishermen were in custody, the coast guard said.
A South Korean officer stabbed in the side died; the other officer wasn't severely injured, the officials said.
There was no immediate comment from the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing.
The coast guard said it has seized about 430 Chinese ships for illegal fishing in the Yellow Sea so far this year, up from 370 last year. The coast guard usually releases the ships after a fine is paid, though violence occasionally occurs.
Chinese fishing fleets have been going farther afield to feed growing domestic demand for seafood.
In 2008, one South Korean coast guard officer was killed and six others injured in a fight with Chinese fishermen in South Korean waters.
Last year, a collision between a Chinese fishing boat and Japanese coast guard vessels led to a diplomatic spat between the countries over disputed islands in the East China Sea.