DPRK Coast Guard Detains Russian Vessel
The vessel entered the territorial waters of North Korea forced by a storm.
The DPRK coast guard detained the Russian ship Lida Demesh when it was carrying a consignment of cars from the Japanese port of Hamata to Vladivostok on February 23. The vessel entered the territorial waters of North Korea. According to some reports, Lida Demesh violated the North Korean state border because of the storm.
The Vladivostok Rescue and Coordination Center told Vostok Media the signal about detainment was transmitted on Saturday at 10:35 a.m. The ship’s radio operator, who barricaded himself in the radio receiving room, managed to say that a North Korean patrol ship detained Lida Demesh near Cape Musudan.
Four North Koran officers who came aboard ordered the captain to enter the port. Afterwards the connection with the vessel was suspended.
Lida Demesh belongs to the Kamchatka Sea Shipping Company. The Consul General of Russia in the DPRK has already tried to meet with the crew of the ship but North Korean authorities didn’t let him. The Consul confirmed that the ship’s crew consists of 25 men. Now the vessel stays in the port of Kimchaek.
The incident with Lida Demesh is not the first. In December 2005 the Russian ship Ternei hided from the storm in a North Korean bay on its way from South Korea to Vladivostok. The ship asked the North Korean authorities for permission and only then entered the bay. Nevertheless the DPRK coast guard stopped Ternei and said that the Russian vessel stayed in the DPRK territorial waters illegally and thus was a trespasser. The proceedings lasted for 20 days until the crew was set free.
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