Russian border forces have detained North Korean fishing vessels for illegal fishing in waters that Russia considers to be within its EEZ, with the three vessels and several smaller craft escorted to the port, joining others previously detained.
‘Three fishing ships and five motor boats with a total of 262 North Korean fishermen aboard have been detained for illegally fishing in Russia’s Exclusive Economic Zone,’ stated Russian Federal Security Service spokesperson Albina Proskurenko.
‘About 30,000 illegally caught squid and banned fishing equipment were seized from the poachers. The detained fishermen were transported to the ports of Nakhodka and Posyet for investigation.’
This incident is the latest in a series of increasingly fraught encounters between North Korean fishermen and Russian border authorities, and this follows an incident earlier this month when the detention of one fishing vessel triggered a gunfight during which there were casualties on both sides and one of the North Korean fishermen died of injuries sustained in the altercation.
160 North Koreans were detained in the incident earlier this month, and in this latest encounter more than 260 are reported to have been held by the Russian authorities.
Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented that while a vast number of North Korean fishing vessels cross the Russian maritime border to poach, the dispute will not damage relations between Moscow and Pyongyang.
‘A large number of North Korean poachers cross the Russian border to illegally fish in Russia’s territorial waters, so undoubtedly, firm measures need to be taken to restore order,’ Dmitry Peskov said.