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The Capture of the ROKS I-2 : the Forgotten Engagement and its Crew

  • military history
  • 2018, (106), pp.1-35
  • DOI : 10.29212/mh.2018..106.1
  • Publisher : Military History Institute, MND
  • Research Area : Humanities > History
  • Received : January 4, 2018
  • Accepted : February 22, 2018
  • Published : March 15, 2018

Jeong, Won-woong 1

1해군사관학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This research deals with the capture of the ROKS I-2 by the North Korean navy in June 1970. The ROKS I-2, also known as “broadcasting (loudspeaker) boat (pangsongsǒn)”, of the Republic of Korea Navy was a small and old reconnaissance vessel which was on duty near Yǒnp’yǒng island off the west cost of the Korean peninsula. The North Korean navy made a sudden attack on the boat and reportedly captured the boat and its crew. This incident was the first case in the history of the Republic of Korea Navy that its commissioned vessel was captured by the enemy. Since the incident, the Korean navy began to introduce fast attack crafts such as PGM, PKM and PK. The incident also provided the navy with an opportunity to enact regulations regarding prisoners of war since the crew of the I-2 would be the first naval POWs if they survived in North Korea. Despite the gravity of the incident, the Korean society has forgotten the capture of the I-2. Little literature deals with the incident, and none analyses the incident alone. This research first explores the battle and capture of the I-2 in detail and then moves on to diplomatic efforts by the South Korean government to make the crew return. Lastly it examines what administrative measures the government took to remove the crew from the navy register. The capture might be almost inevitable due to structural limits such as the lack of fast attack crafts. The Korean government, however, was not free from responsibility to some degree at least for one simple reason that the nation and society have forgotten about the crew.

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