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Pyongyang Authorities Release Russian Ship

20 December 2005 -- North Korea's state media say authorities have released a Russian shipping vessel after holding it for two weeks.

The ship, with a 14-member crew, was transporting cargo from South Korea to Vladivostok when a heavy storm on 5 December prompted it to seek shelter in North Korean waters.

Local border guards later seized the vessel and forced it to dock at the port of Kimchaek, pending talks with Russian officials on the legality of the ship's actions.

The official Korean Central News Agency reported today that Pyongyang had decided to send back the ship in consideration of its relations with Russia.

The report said the ship was entirely to blame for the delayed investigation because it has not complied with North Korean demands on time.