The Russian fishing boat Xiang Hai Lin 8, released on Saturday after being detained by North Korean border patrol officers, has arrived at a port in Sokcho, South Korea, Yonhap reported on Sunday referring to the Ministry of Unification.
According to the South Korean news agency, there are 15 Russian crew members and two nationals of South Korea on board the fishing vessel. They were all on board when the ship was detained on July 17. The news agency quoted the ministry as saying the release of the fishermen by North Korea was “positive from a humanitarian point of view”.
The Russian vessel Xiang Hai Lin 8 was detained in North Korea on July 17, when it was heading to the Sea of Japan from South Korea’s town of Sokcho to catch crab. Seventeen crewmembers were aboard the ship – 15 Russian and 2 South Korean citizens. According to the North Korean Foreign Ministry representatives, the ship was detained for “violating the rules of entry and stay in North Korea.”
The ship-owner company said that the vessel entered a certain 50-mile zone the Russian side was unaware about, which was cited as the reason behind the detention. Until July 27, the ship was stationed in the Wonsan port.
The fishing boat Xiang Hai Lin 8 was built in 2015 and flies the Russian flag. The Northeastern Fishing Company owns the boat and is registered in Sakhalin.