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Russia arrests more than 260 North Korean fishermen

PortandTerminal, September 27, 2019

Russia has detained a large group of North Korean fishermen after the Federal Security Service (FSB) accused them of poaching in Russia’s “exclusive economic waters.”

MOSCOW – Russian border guards have seized three North Korean fishing vessels and 262 crew members for poaching in waters that Moscow considers its exclusive economic zone. 

The North Korean crew and vessels were taken to Russia’s port of Nakhodka

The crew and vessels, as well as several motorboats, were taken to Russia’s Far East port of Nakhodka and border guards have seized 30,000 squid as well as illegal fishing equipment, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday.

It is the second such incident this month.

The incident comes less than two weeks after Russian border guards detained 161 North Korean men, one of whom later died, and impounded two schooners and 11 motorboats in a two-day sweep to prevent illegal fishing in Russia’s territorial waters.

In that incident, Russia said it seized one of the vessels for poaching, prompting a second boat to open fire.

Moscow summoned a North Korean diplomat over the incident.

There are frequent disputes over fishing rights in the Sea of Japan, which is shared by Japan, Russia and North and South Korea.

In July, North Korea released a Russian fishing boat with a crew of 15 Russians and two South Koreans after it was stopped for violating entry regulations.

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