Peking — China and South Korea will hold official direct negotiations for only the second time in history to discuss the return of a Chinese torpedo boat and its crew seized by Seoul after a mutiny, the U.S. Embassy in Peking said Sunday.
“We believe the two governments will be in touch directly from now on concerning this incident,’’ said the U.S. Embassy in the Chinese capital in a statement prepared and relayed from Washington.
The announcement came as Hong Kong news reports said the two sides met Sunday to discuss the return to China of a 45ton, fast attack navy torpedo boat that had drifted into South Korean waters. The reports could not be confirmed.
The torpedo boat, with six dead crewmen aboard and 13 survivors, drifted in the Yellow Sea on Friday, Diplomatic sources in Seoul said the six crewmen were shot by two fellow crew members who had mutinied in an attempt to commander the boat to defect to Taiwan.