International desk, July 28: North Korea has released a Russian fishing boat held after being accused of violating entry regulations, the Russian embassy in North Korea said on Sunday, in an incident that prompted a Russian warning of a freezing of talks on fisheries cooperation.
North Korea detained the 15 Russian and two South Korean crew members of the fishing boat on July 17 for violating entry rules, according to the embassy. Russia said the boat did not breach any law, Reuters reports.
The two South Korean men were also freed, the embassy said in a Facebook post.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with North Korea, had no immediate comment.
Russia’s RIA news agency had earlier cited Russia’s fisheries agency Rosrybolovstvo as saying shipping data showed North Korea’s action had been illegal and the fishing boat had not entered its waters.
Russia would not hold any talks on fisheries cooperation with North Korea – which cover fishing quotas for North Korean fisherman in Russia’s far east – until the matter was satisfactorily resolved, RIA cited the agency as saying.