1998 Sokcho submarine incident

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

Part of Korean Conflict
Date22 June 1998
Offshore of Sokcho, Gangwon-do
Result Loss of North Korean submarine and personnel
 South Korea  North Korea

1 fishing boat
1 submarine
(9 personnel)
Casualties and losses
None 1 submarine captured
9 dead (5 executed, 4 by suicide)


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.

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