North Korea agrees to release detained Russian vessel

February 26th, 2008 - 12:32 am ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Moscow, Feb 25 (RIA Novosti) Russia Monday reached an agreement with North Korea for the release of its ship seized by the latter’s coastguards for violating the international border, a diplomatic source said here. The Russian Lidiya Demesh vessel was carrying a batch of cars from the Japanese port of Hamata to Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East, when a North Korean border guard vessel stopped it near Cape Musudan, three to five miles from North Korea’s shores, Saturday morning.

Following the seizure, Russia launched a diplomatic negotiation with North Korea to secure the release of the vessel and the crewmembers. Russia’s general consul in Chongjin Valery Valkovich was leading Russia in the negotiation process.

“During talks between the Russian general consul in Chongjin and North Korean border guard authorities in the port of Kimch’aek, where the detained ship is anchored, both the sides agreed on a speedy release of the vessel,” an official from the Russian general consulate said.

“As soon as the central authorities in Pyongyang adopt the final decision, the ship will be released,” the diplomat said.

The diplomat said there were 25 crewmembers aboard the ship and all were safe and sound.

North Korea Saturday refused to permission to Valkovich to meet the crewmembers of the ship.
RIA Novosti

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