Exploitation of Chinese fishermen by North Korea

By Zhang Lulu
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, May 27, 2013
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Liao Pu Yu No. 25222, also known as the Liaoning Generic Fishing, was freed by Pyongyang, on May 21, after seizure by an armed North Korean vessel on May 5 in the Yellow Sea. But it seems not to be the only seizure, reported the Jinghua Times on Monday.

Exploitation of Chinese fishermen by North Korea

Exploitation of Chinese fishermen by North Korea

The seizure of Chinese fishing boats by North Korean military vessels happened at least twice this year, according to Jinghua Times. The Chinese fishermen themselves paid the ransoms.

The fishermen involved reported to the police, but the authorities haven't released the results of the investigations.

"Bang Ting" companies located in the city of Dandong, China, served as intermediary between the seized fishing boats and North Korean authorities. "Bang Ting" companies own boats that help North Korean patrol vessels. They also help collect ransom money.

Captain Yu Minglong of the fishing boat Liao Dan Yu No.25395, which was seized by North Korean patrol vessels last year, told reporters that he paid the ransom through the captain of a "Bang Ting", who crossed the China-North Korea border and handed over the ransom to the North Korean authorities.

Yu Xuejun, whose boat was seized on May 5, said that the North Korean vessels had also demanded him to pay ransom through a company in Dandong. But since he refused to pay the money, the company and its bank account information were not revealed to him.

"Bang Ting" companies were started over ten years ago in Dandong, when some people offered to act as intermediary between North Korea and Chinese fishermen, who had started poaching in the North Korean waters twenty years ago.

As fishery resources started to dry up in China, more fishermen started fishing in the North Korean waters through the intermediary of "Bang Ting". There are now three large-scale "Bang Ting" companies in Dandong, which operate in different maritime spaces in North Korea. The companies charge 2,500 yuan for one outing; 50,000 to 60,000 yuan for a month; and 250,000 yuan for a quarter.

Fishing boats that put up North Korean flags along with Chinese flags can be identified as "Bang Ting", according to reporters of Jinghua Times. Captains of the boats have special licenses, which allow them to cross the China-North Korea border and go fishing in the North Korean waters.

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