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Russian border guards fire on North Korean fishing boat, detain 21 crew members

North Korea - Fishing (Roman Harak/Flickr)

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

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says border guards have opened fire on a North Korean fishing boat that was allegedly poaching in the Sea of Japan.

Russian media quoted the FSB as saying that 21 crew members were detained in the October 2 incident, five of whom were injured during the incident, which sparked a fire on board the vessel.

It is the fourth such occurrence in recent weeks. Last week, Russia detained three North Korean vessels and more than 200 crew.

The area, where disputes over fishing rights are frequent, is bordered by Japan, Russia and North and South Korea.

Despite the risks involved, poor North Koreans continue to fish in the waters using simple wooden boats and drift nets that have been banned in Russia since 2015.