China investigates SKorean embassy's broken window

AP News
Posted: Dec 14, 2011 8:43 AM
China investigates SKorean embassy's broken window

China said Wednesday it is increasing security around South Korea's embassy in Beijing after a window was broken there amid tensions over allegations in South Korea that a Chinese fisherman fatally stabbed a coast guard officer.

South Korea's news agency Yonhap cited an anonymous official as saying it was unclear if the broken window was related to the stabbing death this week in South Korean waters. Some Chinese have accused South Korea of bullying their country's fishermen.

The Yonhap report said the embassy was hit by a metal ball believed fired from an air gun Tuesday afternoon. No one was hurt.

An embassy press officer surnamed Zheng said it was unclear what caused the hole in the window.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Wednesday that authorities "take this incident seriously and are sparing no time in investigating it," but that initial inspections showed the embassy was not damaged by a gunshot. China is increasing the numbers of police officers and enhancing security patrols around the embassy, Liu said.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry said it formally asked China on Wednesday to beef up security around their Beijing embassy to prevent further incidents. Such a request is not very unusual between countries, the ministry said.

Tensions have risen since South Korean officials said Monday that the Chinese captain of a boat suspected of illegally fishing in South Korean waters killed one coast guard officer and wounded another.

On Tuesday in Seoul, protesters at the Chinese Embassy defaced a Chinese flag and a newspaper called the Chinese fishermen "pirates."

A commentary published in China's Global Times on Wednesday accused South Korean's media of misleading the public and said the fishermen were not "an arrogant group of bandits."

The Foreign Ministry's Liu said Wednesday that bilateral relations between the countries would not be affected.