SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of – A South Korean official who disappeared off a government ship near the disputed sea boundary with North Korea this week may be in North Korea, South Korea’s Defence Ministry said Wednesday.
The ministry said the 47-year-old official was aboard a government vessel that was checking on potential unauthorized fishing near a South Korean border island. Colleagues noticed the man was missing at lunch time and found only his shoes still on the vessel, prompting a so-far fruitless search involving aircraft and ships.
The Defence Ministry said in a statement it had information that the missing official was on North Korean shores on Tuesday afternoon. The ministry did not say how it obtained that information.
The ministry said officials will contact North Korea to ask about the missing official and take other steps to find more details.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, which was operating