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Russia, N. Korea agree on release of arrested ship - diplomat

Russia's general consul in Chongjin, Valery Valkovich, has secured a speedy release of a Russian ship arrested in the Sea of Japan for allegedly violating the North Korean border, a Russian diplomatic source said on Monday.

The Russian Lidiya Demesh vessel was carrying a batch of cars from the Japanese port of Hamata to Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, when a North Korean border guard vessel stopped it near Cape Musudan, three to five miles from North Korea's shores, on Saturday morning.

"During talks between the Russian general consul in Chongjin and North Korean border guard authorities in the port of Kimch'aek, where the detained ship is anchored, the sides agreed on a speedy release of the vessel," an official from the Russian general consulate told RIA Novosti on the phone.

"As soon as the central authorities in Pyongyang adopt the final decision, the ship will be released," the diplomat said.

The diplomat said there were 25 crewmembers aboard the ship, who were safe and sound.

RIA Novosti

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