3 Russian border guards injured after attack by North Korean poachers in Sea of Japan

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Russia’s FSB said the Coast Guard arrested one North Korean ship and its crew poaching fish in Russia’s exclusive economic zone, but sailors on board another vessel violently resisted detention, injuring three troops.

The crew of a North Korean vessel attacked Russian border guards as they tried to stop them from poaching, the FSB explained. Two North Korean fishing ships and 11 motor boats were spotted within the Russian exclusive economic zone in the Japanese Sea on Tuesday, according to the Federal Security Service (FSB), which oversees border security. 

As poaching is considered a criminal offence in Russia, one ship and its 21-member crew was detained, and a boarding party was sent to the second, presumably larger, vessel.

However, the second ship –carrying over 45 sailors– then attacked the border guards, with three officers injured in the melee, the FSB statement said.

As a result, both vessels were detained.

The clash, which occurred on Tuesday, follows a string of earlier incidents involving North Korean fishermen. Last week, border guards detained 16 boats and over 250 sailors who were poaching squid off Russian shores.

Russian Foreign Ministry said it was planning to summon North Korea’s top diplomatic representative in Moscow.