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Seoul is maintaining contact with Moscow in order to bring South Korean sailors from the Hai Lin 8 fishing vessel detained by North Korea back home, a spokesman for the South Korean Ministry of Unification told reporters on Wednesday.
According to him, South Korea has requested Russia’s assistance through diplomatic channels. Moscow continues to inform Seoul about efforts to bring the vessel’s crew members back home, the South Korean diplomat added, TASS reports.
The media said earlier that the Russian embassy in North Korea was taking measures to ensure the return of the crew members and resolve the situation.
The Russian vessel was detained overnight into July 17 while on its way from the South Korean port of Sokcho to the Sea of Japan for crab fishing. According to the North Korean Foreign Ministry, the vessel was detained for "violating the rules of entry and stay in North Korea." The vessel was escorted to the port of Wonsan.
The vessel belongs to the Sakhalin-based Northeastern Fishing Company, its crew includes 15 Russian nationals and two South Koreans.