Russian border guards have helped rescue at least six North Korean fishermen stranded in deadly typhoons in the past week, local officials reported.
Russia’s Pacific rescue officials said 540 North Korean, South Korean and Chinese vessels sought refuge in Primorye’s ports from powerful typhoons in the last two months. Another typhoon reportedly claimed at least two lives in South Korea as it weakened to a tropical storm over the weekend.
Russian rescuers found and rescued six North Korean fishermen from capsized boats last week, the head of Vladivostok’s rescue coordination center, Nikolai Pirozhkov, told the state-run TASS news agency.
Pirozhkov said three fishermen from the first half-flooded schooner were handed to a nearby North Korean vessel. Three other fishermen from another capsized schooner were due to be handed over to North Korean diplomats later on Monday, he added.
“We haven’t faced the issue of rescuing North Koreans in the past years,” Pirozhkov was quoted as saying. “They come to our shores in large numbers and suffer wrecks here.”
Acting Primorye governor Oleg Kozhemyako said last week that the storms highlighted the scale of North Korean poaching in Russian territorial waters.