Saturday, February 23, 2008
Russian maritime officials said on Saturday that a Russian cargo ship was held and boarded upon by armed coastguard agents in North Korean waters. The Lida Demesh was on its way to the Russian port of Vladivostok carrying a consignment of cars from the Japanese port of Hamata when it was stopped by patrol near Cape Musudan.Reports said that no reason was given for the search, but Russian sources pointed out that the ship may have gone too close to a North Korean missile testing site. According to reports, the Lida Demesh was boarded between three and five nautical miles from the North Korean coast. Most countries claim 12 nautical miles from their coast as territorial waters, they added. In 2005, North Korea had held a Russian ship, which sought shelter from a storm, for 15 days before letting it go following Russian diplomatic pressure.