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‘North Korea has gone too far’: Chinese fishermen beaten, held for ransom by gunmen wearing North Korean military uniforms
Gunmen wearing North Korean military uniforms released a Chinese fishing boat Tuesday after holding its crew for two weeks, beating up the captain and stealing the vessel’s fuel, the boat’s owner said. He added that the hijackers did not get the $100,000 ransom they had demanded.
The seizure May 5 in what boat owner Yu Xuejun said were Chinese waters was the latest irritant in relations between North Korea and a Chinese government increasingly frustrated with its neighboring ally over tests of its nuclear and rocket technologies in defiance of U.N. bans. One of China’s North Korea watchers said rogue border guards were probably responsible, rather than the Pyongyang government itself.
Yu said in an interview that the men were allowed to move around the boat while they were held captive, but were locked in a room at night. He said the captain suffered an arm injury when he was beaten, but he has since recovered, and that no other crew member was harmed. They now planned to stay out at sea for another 10 days.