Posted on July 24, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
North Korea has seized the Russian-flagged fishing vessel, XIANG HAI LIN 8 during the early morning hours of July the 17th, as the vessel was transiting through the Sea of Japan.
While the vessel has been detained for almost a week, the information was only made public on July the 23rd.
The incident occurred some 55 nautical miles off the coast of North Korea, in what is to be understood as international waters. The vessel had left the South Korean port of Sokcho on July the 16th and was headed for the Russian port of Zarubino.
Reportedly, the DPRK Coast Guard accused the Russian seafarers of violating the North Korean maritime border.
The vessel was then promptly detained and taken to the North Korean port city of Wonsan.
There was a crew of 17 people on board the vessel at the time of the seizure, which includes 15 Russian and 2 South Korean nationals.
The Master of the vessel, an officer and the 2 South Korean fishermen are being held in a hotel in Wonsan and are reportedly in good condition, but the remainder of the crew remain detained onboard the vessel.
Russian diplomats visited the vessel on July the 23rd and are currently engaged in talks with their North Korean counterparts in order to secure the release