YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, July 25. /TASS/. Food, water and fuel are running out on the Russian vessel detained by North Korea, a spokesman for the operating Northeastern Fishing Company told TASS on Thursday.
Seventeen crewmembers — 15 Russians and two South Koreans — have remained on the detained ship for a week. The ship's operating company, the Sakhalin region authorities and the Russian Embassy in North Korea are working on facilitating the resolution of the situation and return of Russian sailors home.
"Everything is being done now to speed up the process of inspecting the ship, so that it can return home as soon as possible, since sailors are running out of food and fuel," a spokesman for the owner company said. He added that the company still does not know why exactly the ship was detained and when the situation is expected to be resolved.
Chairman of the Far Eastern regional organization Russian union of sailors Nikolay Sukhanov told TASS that the organization is ready to do everything possible to facilitate the return of Russian sailors home if their relatives ask for help directly. In this case, the Russian union of sailors will try to contact labor unions in North Korea and ask them for assistance. However, neither sailors nor their relatives asked the organization for help so far, he added.
The Northeastern Fishing Company told TASS earlier that the North Korean authorities said the Russian vessel was detained for the violation of a "50-mile zone." "No one knows what zone this is. It is not featured in any international maps, it is nowhere to be seen. No one knows and no one can explain where it came from," a spokesman for the company said.
The Russian vessel flying the flag of South Korea was detained on July 17 when it was on its way from the South Korean port of Sokcho to the Sea of Japan for crab fishing. According to the North Korean Foreign Ministry, the vessel was detained for "violating the rules of entry and stay in North Korea." The vessel was escorted to the port of Wonsan.