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19 Chinese Land in S. Korea, Reportedly Requesting Asylum

United Press International

Nineteen Chinese men who sailed across the Yellow Sea aboard a wooden boat have requested political asylum in South Korea, an intelligence source said Tuesday.

Authorities disclosed few details on the case, but a reliable source said the 19 men were members of a construction engineering crew who left China’s Santung Peninsula on Sunday.

Kim San Jo, superintendent of the maritime police, said the Chinese were spotted drifting aboard a five-ton boat off Sosan, 60 miles southwest of Seoul, around 3 a.m. Tuesday.

“All of them are safe and under investigation and their case will be handled in accordance with domestic laws and international practices,” Kim said.

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Kim refused to disclose further details, but the intelligence source said the men sought asylum upon landing at the remote South Korean port of Sosan. The source said the Chinese were members of “a construction engineering corps” consisting of “paramilitary people.”

The group reportedly includes a skipper, four mechanics, one government clerk, two medical personnel and 11 construction workers.


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