North Korea boat collides with Japan sea patrol

Some North Korean fishermen are traveling far out to sea in order to satisfy government mandates for bigger catches. (AFP file photo)
Updated 07 October 2019

North Korea boat collides with Japan sea patrol

  • The North Korean boat was believed to be a fishing vessel, which reportedly capsized partially after the crash

TOKYO: The Japan Coast Guard said on Monday it had rescued more than 20 crew members from a North Korean fishing vessel which collided with a Japanese patrol boat that was chasing it out of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“We don’t know how many were on board in the first place, but we were informed that more than 20 were rescued. It appears probably no one else is left in the water,” a Japan Coast Guard official said.

The incident occurred 350 kilometers northwest of Noto peninsula in central Japan, the official said.

“We’ve been strengthening patrols around the water there in cooperation with the fisheries agency,” in recent years following reports that many North Korean fishing boats were poaching fish and squids, Japan coast guard spokesman Kazuma Nohara said.
Experts say some fishermen from the North are traveling far out to sea in order to satisfy government mandates for bigger catches.
And dozens of North Korean fishing vessels wash up on Japan’s coast every year.
But their old and poorly equipped vessels are prone to mechanical faults and other problems, including running out of fuel, and there are few ways for them to call for rescue.
Boats have also washed up on Japanese shores with the crew on board dead — referred to as “ghost ships” by local media.
In 2018, 10 North Koreans rescued from a tiny wooden boat drifting off northern Japan were deported back to their country.


Insider attack kills 9 Afghan militia

Updated 7 min 42 sec ago

Insider attack kills 9 Afghan militia

  • Taliban claimed it as an insurgent assault
  • The country’s National Security Forces suffer almost daily from Taliban attacks

KABUL: At least one member of an Afghan militia opened fire on his fellow militiamen early Saturday, killing nine, in what the country’s interior ministry called an insider attack.
The Taliban however claimed the attack was actually a coordinated insurgent assault on the checkpoint where the shooting took place, killing over two dozen militiamen, according to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy, but the Taliban often exaggerate their claims.
Details were sketchy and investigators were still looking into the attack in central Ghazni province’s Karabagh district, said Interior Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman. The number of attackers was also not immediately clear.
Afghan militias operate in remote regions and are under the command of the country’s National Security Forces, which suffers near daily Taliban attacks.
The Taliban now control or hold sway over half the country.
Insider attacks have been steady throughout the 18-year conflict, with US and NATO troops most often targeted. But when Afghan security forces are targeted, the casualty rate is often much higher.
In July, two US service members were killed by an Afghan soldier in the southern Kandahar province. The shooter was wounded and arrested. In September, three US military personnel were wounded when a member of the Afghan Civil Order Police fired on a military convoy, also in Kandahar.
Last Saturday, US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad began several days of meetings with Taliban representatives in Qatar, where the insurgents maintain a political office.
It was his first such direct contact between the envoy and the militant group since President Donald Trump halted negotiations three months ago after a particularly deadly wave of Taliban attacks, including a Kabul suicide bombing that killed an American soldier.