Russia detains North Korean fishing vessels, 262 crew for poaching

MOSCOW (REUTERS) – Russian border guards detained three North Korean fishing vessels and 262 crew members for poaching in waters that Moscow considers its exclusive economic zone, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday (Sept 27).

The crew and vessels, as well as several motorboats, have been taken to Russia’s Far East port of Nakhodka and border guards have seized 30,000 squid as well as illegal fishing equipment, the report said.

It is the second such incident this month. Russia detained two North Korean boats in its territorial waters in the Sea of Japan (also known as the East Sea) on Sept 17 after one of them attacked a Russian patrol.

In that incident, Russia said it detained 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.

The countries have had disputes over fishing in the region in the past.

Moscow in July accused Pyongyang of illegally detaining one of its fishing vessels. North Korea said the crew had been detained for breaching the rules for entering its territory.

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