Tuesday, May 21, 2013

North Korea releases detained Chinese fishing boat, owner says

North Korea released a Chinese fishing boat on Tuesday after it was taken from waters between the two countries, the boat's owner said, in an incident that had proved a new irritant in ties between the often uneasy allies.

Chinese counselor to North Korea Jiang Yaxian had told state media earlier that North Korea had "grabbed" the private vessel from off the northern city of Dalian in waters between China and the Korean peninsula.

Other Chinese state media quoted the owner of the missing boat, Yu Xuejun, as saying North Korea was demanding 600,000 yuan ($97,600) for its safe return, along with its 16 crew.