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Russian Yacht Seized Off North Korean Coast – Reports

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The Russian Foreign Ministry is investigating reports that a Russian yacht has been seized in the Sea of Japan Wednesday by a North Korean ship.

A representative from the Foreign Ministry’s office in Vladivostok said that the government could not confirm or deny the reports. “We are verifying this information and have sent inquiries to the Russian consulate in North Korea," a Foreign Ministry spokesperson told Russia’s Interfax news agency.

Local media outlets reported on Friday that the Russian yacht the Katalexa had sent distress signals from the north-western region of the Sea of Japan June 14.

The Primorye Marine Rescue Center told Interfax that the Katalexa was believed to have been detained by a North Korean vessel. A local yacht club confirmed that three Russian citizens were aboard the yacht, which was making its way from Taiwan to Vladivostok via the South Korean port of Pohang.

Another Russian yacht, the Elfin, was seized off the North Korean coast in May 2016 while traveling from South Korea’s Busan to Vladivostok.

The vessel was released following appeals from Russian diplomats.

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