Chinese fishermen held hostage by armed North Korean

Twenty-nine Chinese fishermen were abducted and their boats were seized by armed North Korean demanding a ransom of 1.2 million yuan, said Thursday the victims’ relatives and the press.

The fishermen were in three ships when the attack occurred on May 8, four or five armed North Korean wearing blue uniforms and blue hat directly up to the cockpit. said a shipowner. “On May 9, one of the captains of ships taken hostage called us by using a telephone provided by the kidnappers. He said the kidnappers demanded a ransom of 400,000 yuan per boat.”

According to the official Chinese press, fishermen from the port of Donggang were off the coast of northeastern China, in the waters between China and North Korea when they were abducted.

Another ship owner based in Donggang confirmed the facts. “Through appropriate channels, China is maintaining close contacts with North Korea to find a solution to this matter as soon as possible”, said Thursday in Beijing, Hong Lei, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

He added that Chinese authorities had requested that “the security, lawful rights and interests of Chinese fishermen are preserved.”