Published: Wed, July 31, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

N. Korea releases detained Russian fishing boat:The Asahi Shimbun

N. Korea releases detained Russian fishing boat:The Asahi Shimbun

A fishing boat apparently operated by North Korea's military has been towed into a South Korean port for investigation after sailing across the inter-Korean sea border, the military authorities here said Sunday. The Xiang Hai Lin 8 was escorted to the port of Wonsan. Those crew members returned to South Korea on Sunday.

The South's military came under heavy public criticism over its handling of a North Korean wooden boat that crossed the East Sea border last month.

South Korean Defense Ministry officials "concluded that there was no indication any of the three sailors had meant to infiltrate [South Korea]", the official said.

"The crew is on board the ship in full force, everyone feels good", the man, who was not named, told the agency on Saturday.

According to the Russian Embassy in North Korea, two of the Russian crew members, including the captain, and the two South Koreans were moved to a hotel in Wonsan, while the remaining crew remained aboard the ship. Russian Federation said the boat did not breach any law. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff subsequently said that the launches were of two short-range missiles that flew around 267 miles at an altitude of 31 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan. Seoul's Unification Ministry said Monday in a statement it chose to let the North Koreans return home in line with their wishes.

Although they could not have reached anywhere near the United States, the missiles' range would easily include ally South Korea and large U.S. military bases near the border.

North Korea wants South Korea's military exercises with the United States cancelled.

Trump has used three dramatic meetings with Kim to try and upend years of diplomatic failure in getting North Korea to abandon a nuclear weapons program.

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