DPRK fisherman rescued after collision with Japanese patrol boat

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Following a collision between a Japanese patrol vessel and a boat belonging to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), more than 20 crew members from the DPRK vessel were rescued after their boat capsized in the incident, local media quoted the coast guard as saying Monday.

As a result of the collision, which occurred at around 9:10 a.m. local time, the DPRK fishing vessel was left half-submerged with around 20 crew members flung overboard, the Japan Fisheries Agency said.

The vessel then sank 20 minutes after the collision, around 350 km northwest of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, according to the Japan Coast Guard.

Patrol boats, helicopters and aircraft were dispatched by Japan to the scene to conduct a search and rescue mission for the crew members, with the search ending in the afternoon with all of the members returned to another DPRK ship, the coast guard here said.

The Japan Fisheries Agency said the DPRK boat, which it believes may have been fishing for squid in the area, was told to leave the areas before the collision.

The Yamatotai area where the incident occurred is known as a premium fishing spot in Japan and is within Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Japan's Coast Guard and Fisheries Agency have previously sent patrol ships to the waters in the vicinity in a bid to quash illegal fishing.

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