North Korea Detained the Crew of a Russian Fishing Vessel
North Korea has detained a crew of a vessel of 15 Russians and two South Koreans for violation of the entry regime on its territory. This was announced by the Russian Embassy in North Korea, quoted by Reuters.
The crew was arrested on July 17 by the North Korean border guards and is currently being held in a hotel in the city of Wonsan, the Russian diplomatic mission in Pyongyang said on its facebook page.
The ship, identified by the embassy as the Xiangheilin-8, owned by the Northeast Fishery Company out of Nevelsk, Russia, was also at Wonsan.
According to the embassy, North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the crew was detained for “violating the rules of entry and stay in the territory of (North Korea).”
A spokeswoman for South Korea’s Foreign Ministry did not have an immediate comment on the two South Korean crew members.
On Monday Russian consular officials were allowed to meet with the crew, who they described as healthy.
The Russian embassy said it was in “constant contact” with the North Korean government and taking all necessary measures to resolve the situation.
Russia has maintained relatively close ties with North Korea, and has continued to be a regular trade partner.
South Korea has sought to ease tensions with its northern neighbour, but South Koreans are still banned by their government from going to North Korea without Seoul’s permission, Bdnews24 reported.
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