News / Asia

N. Koreans Demand Ransom for Detained Chinese Fishermen

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (File)Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (File)
x
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (File)
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (File)
Stephanie Ho
BEIJING - China Central Television and the Beijing News are reporting a rare public maritime spat between China and North Korea.   
 
A North Korean gunboat is reported to have seized several Chinese fishing boats, with a total of 29 people onboard, in the Yellow Sea earlier this month. The North Koreans who are holding the boats and sailors demanded nearly $190,000 for their release and set Thursday as the deadline, or else they will sell off the boats.
 
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei indicated that there is a conflict, but he gave few details.
 
He said China is maintaining close contact with North Korea to try to find an early solution to the case. He also demanded that the other side ensure the safety, rights and interests of the detained Chinese fishermen.
 
The spokesman did not elaborate, when asked to confirm whether a ransom is being demanded or whether China suspects any North Korean government involvement.
 
Chinese fishing boats have occasional conflicts with South Korean, Japanese and Philippine authorities while fishing in disputed waters, but it is rare for them to be seized by North Koreans. There are also reports that there are Chinese among the hijackers.
 
Meanwhile, the spokesman also had little to say about four South Koreans who are being held in northeastern China after authorities detained them in March.

Earlier this week, the South Korean foreign ministry said Seoul has asked Beijing to handle the case in a fair and swift manner.
 
The Chinese spokesman Thursday would only say that “competent Chinese authorities have been investigating this issue according to law.”
 
The South Koreans under detention appear to have been in contact with North Korean refugees in northeastern China to find out about life and conditions in their homeland.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan Huang from: Chinese Canadian
May 17, 2012 6:25 PM
To me the first reaction is that China is preparing excuses to punish N.K. Recently, N.K. seems is out of control, and must be disciplined.

by: Cả Thộn from: Hà Nội
May 17, 2012 1:21 PM
It's time for North Korea getting out of Chinese orbit. It's time for North Korea to keep distance from hungry,greedy,dirty China. This also signals the end of Chinese Communist empire.

by: Anonymous
May 17, 2012 12:11 PM
Truth is stranger than fiction: While the Chinese Navy is sailing half shod in the waters of Asia commandeering the fishing fleets of small defenseless nations; the little North Korean thorn stuck in their southern border is looting the Chinese fishing fleets.

by: Jim from: Chattanooga
May 17, 2012 10:27 AM
The North Koreans are really dumber than a door knob. To play tough against Communist China is like taking a sharp knife and slicing one's throat. It doesn't take much for China to destroy the N. Koreans. Maybe that is the best thing for all humanities. Less numb-nuts to deal with.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs