Chinese Held Ransom

According to Chinese state news media, North Korean gunmen operating in the Yellow Sea are demanding a ransom for the release of three Chinese fishing vessels and 29 crew members.

3 Boats Held by Gunmen, China Says
By Andrew Jacobs, New York Times

BEIJING — The Chinese state news media said Thursday that North Korean gunmen plying the Yellow Sea had seized three Chinese fishing boats with 29 sailors aboard and were demanding a ransom for their release.

Many of the details remained murky. The Beijing News said the boats were intercepted on May 8 in waters between China and North Korea. The report quoted one of the ships’ owners, Zhang Dechang, as saying that he had spoken by phone to a kidnapped sailor and that the captors were demanding about $189,000. Later reports said that had been reduced to about $142,000.

Another newspaper, The Global Times, quoted Mr. Zhang as saying that the attackers had brandished weapons and that the Chinese sailors had not resisted. “The captured fishermen have been locked in a small house, with no food to eat,” he said.

There were conflicting accounts about where the fishing boats originated. Most said they were from the city of Dalian in the northeast, but………….[access full article]


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