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N. Korean fishermen rob each other due to depleted fishing grounds

2016/11/28 11:34

SEOUL, Nov. 20 (Yonhap) -- Robberies are taking place among North Korean fisherman since the country's authorities have reportedly handed over fishing rights in their waters to Chinese fishing boats early this year to secure much-needed hard currency, a U.S. broadcaster, monitored here, reported Monday.

"Robberies between North Korean fishermen are on the rise because their catch has diminished since the North Korean authorities sold the rights to fish in major fishing grounds in the East and West Seas earlier this year," Radio Free Asia said, citing a source in North Korea.

Fierce competition between North Korean fishermen to catch fish in depleted waters sometimes leads to plundering, the source said.

Even fishing boats belonging to the army take fish and fuel from private boats by force, according to the source.

This Yonhap file photo taken on June 7, 2016, shows a group of Chinese boats fishing in North Korean waters in the West Sea. (Yonhap)            This Yonhap file photo taken on June 7, 2016, shows a group of Chinese boats fishing in North Korean waters in the West Sea. (Yonhap)

Meanwhile, the North is also known to have allowed Taiwanese fishermen to catch fish in its exclusive economic zone in the East Sea last month, asking a Taiwanese ship to pay about 1.6 million won (approximately US$1,370) per day.

Such moves are apparently intended to earn foreign currency for the Kim Jong-un regime amid the United Nations' tough economic sanctions against its nuclear and missile tests early this year.

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angloinfo.com