Template:Infobox Military Conflict Template:Naval engagements of the Korean War Template:Campaignbox Korean War The Battle of Yosu, in December 1998, was a naval skirmish that began when the South Korean military intercepted a North Korean semi-submersible vessel attempting to land commandos on the north-east South Korean coast.
Background[edit | edit source]
Throughout 1998 there had been several incidents involving North Korean infiltrators attempting to land on the coast. In June a North Korean submarine was found in South Korean waters off Sokcho entangled in fishing nets with a dead crew that had committed suicide to evade capture. Another infiltration occurred in July when a dead commando and abandoned North Korean craft was discovered near the city of Donghae.
Battle[edit | edit source]
On December 17, a 10 ton North Korean I-SILC class semi-submersible infiltration vessel was discovered by the South Koreans about a mile off the coast of Yeosu. About a dozen South Korean ships were scrambled to intercept it. After several warnings were given, the South Korean Navy fired warning shots at the semi-submersible. The North Korean craft ignored the warnings and opened fire on the South Korean vessels. It then attempted to escape, fleeing some 60 miles while being tracked by patrol planes and boats. By the next day it sank.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
After sinking the intruder in 300 feet of water, the South Koreans attempted to recover the bodies of the dead North Koreans and pieces of the infiltration craft. The body of one North Korean frogman was found. From the size and type of the vessel it was assumed that the entire crew consisted of four sailors and that all had perished. Searches were also conducted on nearby land to make sure that infiltrators had not landed on the coastline. When questioned, the North Korean government denied sending the vessel or knowing anything about its origins. This incident helped fuel increasing tensions between the two governments and an even larger naval skirmish was fought the next year.
The North Korean News Agency (KCNA) said on 19 December:
The South Korean puppets said that they located a "submarine" in the sea off Ryosu, South Jolla Province, at 11:15 p.m. on December 17 and had a battle in which the "submarine" was sunken and they brought a dead body clad in diving-suit to the land. They also said that they issued an order called "Jindogae nN.1" throughout the coastal areas of South Korea and have been put on the red alert. This time, too, the puppets described the "incident" as the "intrusion by the north," shifting the blame on to the north. This frantic anti-communist campaign is a continuation of the anti-communist, anti-north campaign such as the fiction of the "intrusion of the north's vessel" near the coast of the Kanghwa island on the West Sea of Korea and the description of a flock of birds as "something mysterious" in the sea off the Kanghwa island. The incidents have nothing to do with the north. Now the South Korean are trying hard to find a pretext for unleashing a war against the north in line with the U.S. imperialists' moves for war against the DPRK. It goes without saying that the "north's submarine infiltration incident" is a farce cooked up for that purpose. We can no longer remain a passive onlooker to the South Korean continuous anti-communist campaign and slander against the north. The campaign can convince no one. We will take resolute measures so that the provokers may drink a bitter cup. We seriously warn the South Korean not to act rashly.
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Sources[edit | edit source]