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North Korean national gets seven years in prison for attacking Russian border guards

Russian border guards (Igor Zarembo/WikiCommons)
September 19, 2020

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

A court in Russia’s far eastern city of Nakhodka sentenced a North Korean citizen on September 18 to seven years in prison for attacking Russian border guards.

Earlier in July, another North Korean man was sentenced to four years in prison in the high-profile case, in which the trials of dozens of other North Korean nationals are still pending.

More than 160 North Koreans were detained in September last year in a two-day operation after Russian border guards encountered two North Korean schooners and 11 motorboats in Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan.

Russian authorities said at the time that one of the boat’s crew attacked the guards who boarded the vessel. Four officers were injured in the incident, one of whom sustained gunshot wounds..

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One North Korean national died in the incident.

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned North Korea’s charge d’affaires, Zin Jong Hep, over the incident at the time, expressing “serious concern.”

Russian coast guards frequently detain North Korean fishermen in the Far East, and some of them are handed prison terms.

Last July, North Korea released a Russian fishing boat with a Russian-South Korean crew after it had been detained because Pyongyang claimed it violated its territorial waters.