Monday, May 20, 2013

North Koreans seize Chinese fishing boat

China has urged North Korea to release a Chinese fishing boat and its crew, state media have reported, after its owner announced it had been seized more than two weeks ago.

Yu Xuejun wrote on his microblog on Saturday that armed North Koreans took the boat on 5 May in what he says were Chinese waters and that they demanded a ransom of 600,000 yuan (£64,000).

Xinhua subsequently reported that Chinese diplomats in Pyongyang received Yu’s request for help on 10 May. Official Jiang Yaxian told the Chinese state news agency the embassy had asked the North Korean foreign ministry to free the boat and the fishermen as soon as possible and had urged the DPRK to ensure the safety of the Chinese crew and their property.