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One of 161 North Koreans detained by Russian border guards for poaching dies

north Korean boat (Nsxbln/WikiCommons)
September 22, 2019

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

One of 161 North Korean nationals detained by Russian border guards for illegal fishing in Russia’s waters has died, a top official of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Russia’s far eastern Primorye region said.

Vladimir Krasnov, the region’s chief FSB investigator, said in a televised interview broadcast on September 20 that six North Koreans sustained injuries when they resisted their detainment on September 17 in the Sea of Japan.

“Unfortunately, one of them later died,” Krasnov said, adding that the North Koreans resisted their detainment using blade weapons.

The FSB said in a statement on September 18 that Russian border guards detained 161 North Korean men, and impounded two schooners and 11 motorboats in a two-day action to prevent illegal fishing in Russia’s territorial waters.

The statement said that the North Koreans wounded four Russian border guards, who were hospitalized.

On September 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned North Korean Charge d’Affaires Zin Jong Hep over the incident, expressing “serious concern.”

The Investigative Committee said on September 20 that a probe was launched into the attack on Russian border guards.

The Russian Coast Guard frequently detains North Korean fishermen in the Far East, and some of them are given prison terms.

In July, North Korea released a Russian fishing boat with a Russian-South Korean crew after it was detained for violating entry regulations.