29 Chinese Fishermen Held In North Korea Freed

All 29 Chinese fishermen kidnapped earlier this month by unidentified armed North Koreans have been freed and are on their way home, Chinese state media said on Sunday.

Unidentified people in North Korea are demanding money in exchange for 29 Chinese fishermen they are holding captive, which is raising tensions between the two countries. The WSJ's Isabella Steger talks to reporter Evan Ramstad about the details.

BEIJING: All 29 Chinese fishermen kidnapped earlier this month by unidentified armed North Koreans have been freed and are on their way home, Chinese state media said on Sunday.

The fishermen were working on three boats which were reportedly captured at sea on May 8 by gunmen believed to be North Koreans. The Chinese embassy in the North Korean capital Pyongyang was told by the North Korean foreign ministry that the group had been freed and the vessels and crews were going home, the Xinhua news agency said.

On Friday, Xinhua reported that "some" of the detained had already returned to port, while those remaining in North Korean hands were "safe and sound". Chinese state media previously reported that the snatched men were fishing in the waters between China and North Korea when they were seized.

Xinhua said Chinese embassy staff in Pyongyang had been negotiating the release of the fishermen. Chinese fishermen regularly run into difficulties with the authorities of other countries as they fish in areas that are claimed by both China and its neighbours.