SEOUL: South Korea on Monday returned five North Korean fishermen rescued last week from their sinking boat off the east coast, officials said. The repatriation took place just after 4:00 pm (7:00 am Manila time) at the border truce village of Panmunjom, the South’s unification ministry said. The five were picked up by a South Korean coastguard vessel on Friday and requested to be sent back to the North. Earlier this month, Seoul angered Pyongyang by refusing to return two North Korean fishermen who asked to stay in the South after their vessel drifted over the maritime border and was picked up. North Korea does not recognize the disputed maritime boundary, and encroachment by North Korean fishing vessels is quite common.