Families of South Korean sailors killed in a battle with North Korea in 2002 are suing the South’s former military leaders for alleged negligence, a report said Tuesday.
The battle erupted on June 29, 2002, when two of the North’s patrol boats crossed the disputed Yellow Sea border. Six South Korean sailors were killed and 18 injured while an estimated 13 North Koreans died.
Twelve family members and surviving sailors have filed suit seeking up to 630 million won ($544,000) each in compensation from 12 former military leaders including then-defense minister Kim Dong-Shin, Yonhap news agency said.
They accuse them of failing to swiftly deliver military intelligence to front-line units.
The plaintiffs say Kim and others had detected unusual movements by the North’s military through monitoring communications but failed to relay such information accurately to field units, according to Yonhap.
The agency quoted legal industry sources for its information. The defense ministry declined to comment, calling it a private matter.
The western maritime border also saw bloody clashes between surface ships in 1999 and 2009.
In 2010 Seoul accused its neighbor of torpedoing a warship near the border on March 26 with the loss of 46 lives.
The North denied responsibility for the sinking but shelled a South Korean border island in November 2010, killing four people.