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VLADIVOSTOK, July 17 (Itar-Tass) - The North Korean fishermen, who were saved by a tanker of the Russian Pacific Fleet on Tuesday, have drifted in the Sea of Japan (the East Sea) onboard a fishing schooner with the engine gone out of order for no less than 15 days. The North Korean sailors gave the May Day signal in “the absolutely force majeure circumstances,” the North Korean General Consulate in Nakhodka said on Wednesday.
The North Korean General Consulate in Nakhodka is settling the question of return of the saved fishermen to the homeland. All of them are residents of the North Korean city Chongjin, which is situated on the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula.
The Russian sailors came for help to the vessel in distress with four North Korean fishermen right after the May Day signal from them in the morning on July 16, the press service of the Pacific Fleet reported. The crew of the tanker VTN-82 with Captain Georgy Safonov arrived in the area where the schooner was drifting, took her in tow and towed to the port Nakhodka on July 16.
“The Pacific Fleet’s naval sailors came for help to the North Korean fishermen during the naval exercises of the Pacific Fleet, which are being held during large-scale snap drills of the forces of the Eastern Military District,” the press service of the Russian Defence Ministry reported.