N Korean Poachers rescued after sea collision

World | AGENCIES 8 Oct 2019

Japan rescued about 60 North Korean crew members from a fishing boat that sank after colliding with a Japanese patrol boat that was chasing it out of Japanese waters.

Rescued crew members were handed over to another North Korean ship, the Japanese Coast Guard said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to investigate the incident thoroughly. "We will resolutely respond to prevent poaching by foreign fishing boats in the Japanese exclusive economic zone,'' he said.

Following the collision, maritime authorities mobilized seven ships and aircraft to search for North Korean crew members.

Taku Eto, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the North Korean ship caused the accident.

"The collision happened because the other ship took a sharp turn," Eto said.

A Japanese official said the North Korean boat was fishing illegally in the country's exclusive economic zone. "The contact happened while we were warning the ship to sail away," said Satoshi Kuwahara, head of the Fisheries Agency's enforcement division.

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