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N.Korea has not released Russian ship detained in Sea of Japan

26.02.2008 North Korean authorities have not released a Russian cargo ship seized on Saturday in the Sea of Japan, a Russian diplomatic official said on Tuesday.

The Russian vessel, Lidiya Demesh, was carrying a shipment of cars from the Japanese port of Hamata to Vladivostok, when it was stopped by the North Koreans near Cape Musudan, three to five miles from North Korea's shores.

"General Consul [in Chongjin] Yevgeny Valkovich has said he will remain aboard the vessel [at least] until Wednesday, awaiting a decision from Pyongyang," a diplomatic mission spokesperson said.

Valkovich said on Monday he had agreed with North Korean authorities over the release of the boat, including all of its 25 crewmembers.

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