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August 23, 2017

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China fishermen detained by N. Korean boat released

BEIJING -- The Chinese Embassy in North Korea says Chinese fishermen detained there after their boats were hijacked have been released.

Chinese media said last week that a North Korean boat hijacked three boats with 29 Chinese fishermen on board on May 8. The media did not say who the captors were but said they demanded US$190,000 for the fishermen's release.

A statement on the Chinese Embassy website Sunday said that vessels and crew have been freed and are on their way back to China.

It did not mention if a payment was made. No other details were provided.

It was unclear if a territorial dispute or piracy was behind the incident involving boats from the two communist-led nations. China is the North's biggest diplomatic ally and source of economic assistance.

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