The South Korean navy rescued 17 crew members of a sinking Cambodian merchant vessel in North Korean waters last week, according to news reports.
It was the first time the South’s navy conducted rescue operations in the North’s waters, the Yonhap news agency reported.
In March, two ships carrying Cambodian flags sunk, one in the Straits of Taiwan in which eight sailors disappeared and the other off the coast of China.
The Sun Glory was sailing from a South Korean port when it hit trouble and drifted almost seven km north of the Korean border in the Sea of Japan.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff immediately notified the North of its intention to dispatch a rescue team to the scene, but the North gave no clear response to the notification.
The navy crossed the border to rescue the South Korean and Burmese crewmen, who were in a lifeboat as the commercial boat reportedly sank.