The sinking of a fishing vessel "ignites" tension between North Korea and Japan[/rtl]
[rtl]Date: 2019/10/13 10:09 • 57 times read[/rtl]
TOKYO (Reuters) - The Foreign Ministry on Saturday strongly demanded Japan pay compensation for the sinking of a fishing vessel after colliding with a Japanese patrol ship last week, the official Korean Central News Agency said.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said in a statement published by the agency that the incident, which took place on Monday, was deliberate "and the act of gangs" by Japan, which must take the necessary steps to prevent such incidents in the future.
"We strongly demand the government of Japan to pay compensation for the material loss caused by the sinking of the ship. If this incident recurs in the future, Japan will face undesirable repercussions," the spokesman said.
A spokesman for the Japanese Foreign Ministry said the collision was caused by a North Korean fishing boat, which ignored warnings from a Japanese patrol boat.
"We have therefore lodged a protest with North Korea through the embassy in Beijing. Our position on the issue remains unchanged and we will not comment on individual statements from North Korea," the spokesman said.
Japan's coast guard said it had rescued the crew of a 60-strong North Korean fishing boat after it sank after colliding with a patrol ship that was chasing it out of Japanese waters.
But a North Korean foreign ministry official questioned Japan's claim that the sharp turn of the fishing vessel had sunk.
The official said in a statement that the fishing vessel "was sailing normally."