The Russian Authority is reporting that a yacht ship with a three person crew, was either detained, hijacked, or arrested, by a North Korean ship.
A radio message from the Katalexa as it was sailing in the Sea of Japan was received, experts believing that it meant they were hijacked, but it was not entirely clear. No messages have been received from the ship since the SOS message earlier this week.
However, a Russian news agency is saying that signals are showing that the boat has been moved to a North Korean port.
Press attache at Russian embassy in North Korea Denis Samsonov said, “Consul-General in Chondjin Yuri Bochkarev is heading to the port of [Rason] where the yacht has been since yesterday. It takes a few hours on a very bad road, he will try to contact and talk to the members of crew.”
The Daily Mail reports:
But Russian news agency Sputnik is reporting that the yacht has been moved to the North Korean port of Rason.
‘The embassy has set up a unit with Minister Counsellor Alexander Minaev, and Ambassador Alexander Matsegora is personally taking care of all matters related to Katalexa yacht,’ press attache at Russian embassy in North Korea Denis Samsonov said.
He added: ‘Consul-General in Chondjin Yuri Bochkarev is heading to the port of [Rason] where the yacht has been since yesterday. It takes a few hours on a very bad road, he will try to contact and talk to the members of crew.’
The incident comes amid high tension on on the Korean peninsula over missile tests by Kim Jong Un’s repressive regime which US defence secretary Jim Mattis this week branded the world’s ‘most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security’.
Russia announced the deployment of the new-state-of-the-art Buk-M3 missile defence system in eastern Siberia in response to concerns over war breaking out in North Korea.
Moscow has expressed ‘profound concern’ over recent North Korean missile launches which ‘serve to heighten tensions’, with US warships already on patrol in the region.
Russian foreign ministry official Vladimir Konovalov said of the yacht incident: ‘We can’t yet confirm or refute this information.’
Urgent representations have been made via Russian diplomatic channels to the North Korean authorities.