Russia is holding 160 suspected North Korean poachers who were detained in the Sea of Japan on Tuesday after one of the boats they were on attacked a Russian patrol, Russia’s state news agency said on Wednesday.
A Russian border patrol found two North Korean schooners and 11 motorboats fishing illegally off its far eastern coast on Tuesday and detained the first vessel, pushing the second one to engage fire, the news agency quoted Russia‘s Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying.
Some of the detained North Koreans were injured, the FSB said.
Russia‘s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it will contact North Korea’s top diplomatic officials in Moscow following the detention.
The detained vessels are being led to Russia’s Far East port of Nakhodka according to FSB.
This is not the first time the countries are engaged in the region amid crisis. North Korea has previously detained Russian boats.
In July, North Korea gird around a Russian fishing boat and detained, the Xiang Hai Lin 8, during a transit in the Sea of Japan. North Korean officials accused the vessel of “violating the rules of entry and stay in North Korea.” After the Russian government mediated on behalf of the crew, the Xiang Hai Lin 8 was then released without fines or charges.
In 2016, one North Korean fisherman was killed and more than 8 were injured when the crew of the trawler Dae Yong No. 10 resisted a Russian boarding party. The FSB claimed that during the boarding, the vessel tried to escape the scene with border officials still on board.