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1998 Sokcho submarine incident

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Part of Korean Conflict
Date22 June 1998
Offshore of Sokcho, Gangwon-do
Result Death of 9 North Korean submarine personnel
 North Korea  North Korea
4 Yugo-class submarine personnel 5 Yugo-class submarine personnel
1 Yugo-class submarine
Casualties and losses
4 submarine personnel  5 submarine personnel Executed
1 submarine captured

The 1998 Sokcho submarine incident occurred on 22 June 1998, offshore of the South Korean city of Sokcho.


On 22 June, a North Korean Yugo-class submarine became entangled in a fishing driftnet in South Korean waters approximately 18 km east of the port of Sokcho and 33 km south of the inter-Korean border. A South Korean fishing boat observed several submarine crewmen trying to untangle the submarine from the fishing net; the fishing boat notified the South Korean navy and a corvette towed the submarine with the crew still inside to a navy base at the port of Donghae.[1][2] The submarine sank as it was being towed into port, it was unclear if this was as a result of damage or a deliberate scuttling by the crew.[3]

On 23 June the Korean Central News Agency admitted that a submarine had been lost in a training accident.[4]

On 25 June the submarine was salvaged from a depth of approximately 100 feet (30 m) and the bodies of nine crewmen were recovered; five sailors had apparently been murdered while four agents had apparently committed suicide;[5] the presence of South Korean drinks suggested that the crew had completed an espionage mission.[6] Log books found in the submarine showed that it had infiltrated South Korean waters on a number of previous occasions.[7]

The bodies of the members of submarine crew were subsequently buried in the Cemetery for North Korean and Chinese Soldiers.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "North Korea Sub is snagged off South". New York Times. 23 June 1998. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  2. ^ Efron, Sonni (1998-06-23). "S. Korea Seizes Another Northern Sub Off Coast". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ "Sub incident harms Korean relations". BBC News. 22 June 1998. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  4. ^ "N. Korea admits submarine wrecked while training". Kyodo News via The Free Library. 23 June 1998. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  5. ^ "9 North Koreans dead in submarine". New York Times. 27 June 1998. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  6. ^ "`Suicide' crew found in North Korean sub". The Independent. 26 June 1998. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  7. ^ "N.Korean Subs Ply East Sea with Impunity". The Chosun Ilbo. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  8. ^ "South Korean cemetery keeps Cold War alive". Reuters. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2014.

External links