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Korea, China Illegal Fishing Punishment Strengthened

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SOUTH KOREA and CHINA - South Korea and China have agreed to strengthen punishments on illegal fishing and maritime violence, South Korea's fisheries ministry said Sunday.

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The countries also agreed that Chinese boats will record fishing logs using GPS technology while fishing near South Korea's exclusive economic zone, the ministry said.

The two neighbors reached the agreement at a meeting last week in the Chinese city of Qingdao, reports YonhappNewsAgency.

The move came as South Korea and China have taken tough measures against illegal fishing by Chinese vessels in the Yellow Sea following the December killing of a South Korean coastguard officer by a Chinese skipper during a raid on a Chinese boat.

Earlier this month, South Korean prosecutors demanded capital punishment for the Chinese captain, who admitted to the murder after his arrest in December. Sentencing is scheduled for Thursday.

Chinese fishing boats are often caught poaching in South Korean waters in the Yellow Sea, often leading to violence by the Chinese fishermen during raids by the South Korean Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard captured or sent back more than 470 Chinese fishing ships in 2011, which had illegally crossed into South Korean waters in search of anchovies, blue crabs and croakers that are abundant in local waters.

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