August 30, 2009 in Nation/World

North Korea frees boat, South Korean fishermen

Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea – Four South Korean fishermen, whom Pyongyang detained for a month after they accidentally entered North Korean waters, returned home Saturday.

Their release is the latest indication that the communist country wants to improve ties with its southern neighbor and put stalled cross-border projects back on track.

Earlier this month, the North freed two American journalists and a South Korean worker after more than four months of detention. On Friday the two sides agreed to resume reunions of families divided by the Korean War more than half a century ago.

On Saturday, North Korean authorities handed over the fishermen and their boat to South Korea coast guard officials at the Koreas’ shared eastern maritime border.

Pyongyang held the four South Koreans for a month after their boat strayed into northern waters on July 30.

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