N Korea: Detained yacht is released

Exclusive to The Middle East Online

Edited by Nelly Tawil

The North Korean coast guard seized a Russian yacht sailed by five crewmembers 130 km off the coast of North Korea’s economic zone on Friday. North Korean authorities allowed the yacht to continue its journey two days after detaining it and its passengers in coastal waters, Russian media reported on Sunday.

The yacht was en route from South Korea port of Pusan to Vladicostok in Russia’s Far East. A diplomat explained the detention of the Russian yacht as a misunderstanding on Sunday.

“The explanation is that there was a misunderstanding,” Xinhua news agency quoted Yuri Bochkarev, Russia’s consulate general in Chongjin, capital of North Korea’s Hangyong province, as saying.

Pyongyang informed Russia on Sunday that the yacht was allowed to leave the country at 10.00 am (local time) Bochkarev said.

The vessel is expected to arrive in Vladivostok in 24 hours.