SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea deported two North Koreans back to the communist nation after learning that they killed 16 fellow crew members on their fishing boat and fled to the South, the unification ministry said Thursday.
The South notified the North of its intent to send the two people in their 20s back, and the North agreed to accept them, and the two were deported to the North at around 3:10 p.m. through the truce village of Panmunjom, according to the ministry that handles inter-Korean affairs.
They were captured near the Northern Limit Line, a de facto maritime border off South Korea's east coast, on Saturday and were taken to a nearby port for investigation, the ministry said.
During the investigation, officials learned that they killed 16 other crew members of their boat and fled.
After crossing the sea border into the South, they attempted to run away when the South's Navy tried to seize them, officials said.
The deportation took place after South Korea informed North Korea of its decision to send them back earlier this week and the North subsequently agreed to it, the ministry said.