CHANGCHUN, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese businessman has drowned while rescuing four young girls from the sea in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Chinese authorities said Monday.
Zhang Jingrong, 46, from the Korean Autonomous Prefecture of Yanbian in northeast China's Jilin Province, was visiting the beach near Rason on Aug. 15 when he helped to save the Korean girls, said a spokesman with the Yanbian Prefecture Committee of the Communist Party of China.
Zhang heard cries for help at about 11:30 a.m. and saw four Korean girls drifting away with the waves while grasping a single swimming ring, the spokesman said.
Zhang and his colleague Ruan Xingwang immediately jumped into the sea and swam to the girls. They attempted to push them back to the beach, but a wave swept one of the girls away. Zhang turned around and pushed her back to the swimming ring, but he himself was swept away by the subsequent huge wave.
The four girls were rescued, but Zhang drowned, the spokesman said.
Zhang's body was retrieved later that day and sent back to China in the evening.
A letter from Rason authorities on Aug. 18 said: "What Zhang has done demonstrates the closest friendship between DPRK and China."
Zhang has been engaged in shoe business in DPRK.
"I'm proud of my father. I hope his heroic deeds can inspire everyone," said Zhang Peng, the son of Zhang Jingrong.