Jet skiers (symbolic image)
photo2000 / imago images
South Korea's coast guard has apparently arrested a man who fled China on a jet ski. The Chinese citizen was the activist Kwon Pyong, who had been in prison for mocking head of state Xi Jinping, a representative of the non-governmental organization (NGO) Dialogue China told the AFP news agency. According to the South Korean Coast Guard, the man had fled more than 300 kilometers across the Yellow Sea between South Korea and China.
The man had started the crossing from the eastern Chinese province of Shandong equipped only with a life jacket, helmet, compass and binoculars. In order to have enough fuel with him, he carried five barrels filled with gasoline in tow. During the trip, he gradually refueled with the gasoline and then threw the barrels into the sea, it said.
Near the South Korean port city of Incheon, the fugitive finally got stuck in the Wadden Sea there, according to the coast guard, and called for help. He was later arrested. There are no indications that he is a spy.
Condemned in China
Activist Kwon Pyong, when China Dialogue identified the man, had been convicted of subversion in China for his anti-Xi Jinping posts on online networks. According to the NGO, he is now considering applying for asylum in South Korea. However, the country grants political asylum to very few people. The Chinese embassy in Seoul declined to comment on the incident.