September 17, 2019 / 12:51 PM / 2 months ago

Russia detains two North Korean vessels after one opens fire: reports

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian border guards have detained two North Korean boats in Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan after one of them attacked a Russian patrol, local media cited the Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying on Tuesday.

A Russian border patrol discovered two North Korean schooners and 11 motorboats fishing illegally off its far eastern coast and detained the first vessel, prompting the second one to open fire, the FSB was quoted as saying.

Three Russian border guards were wounded in the incident.

“Both vessels have been detained,” local media cited the FSB as saying, adding later that more than 80 North Koreans had been detained.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called in a top North Korean diplomatic representative in Moscow over the incident and he was later seen entering the ministry, RIA news agency reported.

The detained vessels are being taken to Russia’s Far East port of Nakhodka, Interfax news agency quoted FSB as saying.

Moscow in July accused North Korea of illegally detaining one of its fishing vessels. Pyongyang said the crew had been detained for violating the rules of entry into North Korea.

Reporting by Polina Ivanova and Anastasia Teterevleva; Writing by Tom Balmforth

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