Russia arrests more than 260 North Korean fishermen

Russian border guards seize 3 North Korean vessels and 262 crew for poaching, says InterFax.

    A North Korean fishing boat suspected of poaching in the waters near Yamatotai, Japan [Japan Coastguard via AP]
    A North Korean fishing boat suspected of poaching in the waters near Yamatotai, Japan [Japan Coastguard via AP]

    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 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.

    Russia arrested two North Korean boats in its territorial waters in the Sea of Japan on September 17 after one of them attacked a Russian patrol.

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

    Several border guards and alleged poachers were hurt and one of the North Koreans later died from his wounds.

    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.

    SOURCE: News agencies