Russian Federation detains over 80 North Korean sailors

Russian Federation detains over 80 North Korean sailors

On the same day, Russia's Foreign Ministry said it had summoned a North Korean diplomat over the attacks.

North Korean vessels running contraband in the Sea of Japan fired on Russian border patrol vessels today, injuring three Russian crewman.

Two North Korean fishing ships and 11 motor boats were spotted within the Russian exclusive economic zone in the Japanese Sea on Tuesday, according to the Federal Security Service (FSB), which oversees border security.

This picture taken on August 30, 2011 shows fishermen going out in their boats as the cruise ship Mangyongbong prepares to dock at Mount Kumgang port in the first-ever cruise from Rason in North Korea.

"Both vessels have been detained", local media cited the FSB as saying, adding later that more than 80 North Koreans had been detained. Pyongyang said the crew had been detained for violating the rules of entry into North Korea.

Writing for NK News in December previous year, North Korea watcher Andrei Lankov noted how the DPRK's fishermen often head further afield in search of more abundant fishing grounds.

Russian coast guards frequently detain North Korean fishermen in the Far East, many of whom use rudimentary wooden boats. This altercation in the Sea of Japan could be evidence of tighter Russian sanction enforcement against North Korea.

Russian Federation says they were caught in its Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends 200 nautical miles (370km) from its coast.

Although vessels have a right of "transit passage" through EEZ's, North Korea also claimed that it warned Tokyo against "obstructing the activities" of its fishing vessels.

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