A trio of North Korean fishermen slaughtered 16 fellow crew members — including their captain, officials said Thursday.
Two of the killers, both in their 20s, were captured in their boat south of the eastern sea border between South and North Korea last Saturday, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said.
South Korean officials soon discovered that the madmen had murdered their captain — killing 15 other crew members to hide the crime, according to the officials.
They initially returned to the north, but fled after a third man involved in the killing spree was captured, the officials said.
When their boat was stopped in South Korea’s waters, they said they wanted to resettle there — but investigators determined they were merely trying to avoid arrest.
The pair were deported because they were “heinous criminals,” Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Sang-min said.
It is the first time that South Korea has deported a North Korean national since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, according to the ministry.
Observers say the men are likely to receive heavy punishment in North Korea — including possible execution.
About 32,000 North Koreans have fled to the South since the end of the Korean War, most of them via China and in the past two decades.
With Post wires
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