China’s caixin.com reports that on May 8, four Chinese fishing boats were held by unidentified armed North Koreans, some in uniform but others in plain clothes. One of the boats was released, but three of them, including twenty-nine crew, remained in custody. The North Koreans have demanded a ransom of RMB1.2 million (US$190,000). Owners of the boats have asked the Chinese government for help.
The Office of Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesman said on May 16 that according to the information available so far, the seizure of fishing boats must be a fishing incident. The Chinese side is further verifying the information and keeping close contacts with the North Korean side and will strive to enable the issue to be satisfactorily resolved as soon as possible in order to ensure Chinese citizen’s safety and lawful rights.
According to Yang Hongbin, one of the owners of the boats, at that…
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