South Korean fisherman killed after being mistaken for communist spy

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean fisherman was killed and two others wounded when soldiers mistook their ship for a North Korean spy vessel, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.
The 1.5-ton boat, carrying 12 fishermen, ignored the soldiers’ pre-dawn flashlight signal to halt, the ministry said. The troops pursued the boat and opened fire, assuming it was a North Korean spy vessel, the government said.
Kim Sung-moon, 60, was killed in the gunfire in Uljin, about 135 miles southeast of Seoul. Two other fishermen injured by the soldiers, who were guarding South Korea’s eastern coast, were taken to a nearby hospital for surgery, the ministry said. One was in critical condition.
The incident occurred in an area where North Korea has previously tried to land spies to infiltrate the South. In 1968, some 100 armed North Korean agents managed to reach shore. All but seven were eventually killed by South Korean soldiers.
The army has since applied strict regulations on fishing in the area, about 30 miles from the North Korean border.