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Russian Vessel Detained Off North Korean

8 December 2005 -- A Russian shipping vessel has been anchored in North Korean territorial waters for three days after being forced to seek shelter during a heavy storm.

The river-sea vessel, which was traveling from South Korea with a cargo of buses, was returning to Vladivostok on 5 December when it was caught in strong winds and high waves.

The shipping company that owns the vessel says the crew requested and received permission from North Korean authorities to seek refuge in its territorial waters.

The ship is currently anchored about 60 kilometers south of the port of Chongjin. Eight North Korean border patrol troops are also reportedly on board the ship.

The Russian consulate in Chongjin says North Korean authorities are demanding the ship be docked at the port of Kimchaek before Russian authorities are allowed access to the 14-member crew.


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