A Chinese fishing boat, via Lloydi
A group of North Koreans claim to have hijacked a Chinese fishing boat, are holding hostages, and demand some 600,000 yuan in ransoms. The initial hijacking took place on May 6, but authorities are struggling to pin down exactly what happened. They are investigating the boat owner’s claims that his ship and its crew were taken, but officials have been silent.
North Korea isn’t just fun-runs and basketball stars; there is a serious concern that the hijackers were in the nation’s military, and may be harming their prisoners, as South China Morning Post reports:
Yu [the boat owner] was not certain of the kidnappers’ identity, but said he suspected they were associated with North Korea’s army.
Yu claimed to have been in contact with the 16 crew members as recently as Saturday, and said he believed they were in good health, but added that he was “worried that the North Koreans could abuse our sailors.”
He had reported the incident to Chinese authorities, he said, but later posted details of the hijacking on the internet out of frustration with an apparent lack of official action.
“It has almost been two weeks, but I haven’t seen any results,” he said.
China’s relationship with the DPRK has been going down hill over the past few weeks, and this certainly isn’t going to cheer anyone up.