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A North Korean fishing boat in the Sea of Japan. A North Korean fishing boat in the Sea of Japan, late May 2019 (Japan Coast Guard via AP Images).

Will North Korea’s Squid Poaching Strain Its Close Ties With Russia?

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019

Russian border guards have escalated a crackdown on North Korean squid poachers in recent weeks, detaining dozens of fishing vessels and hundreds of crew members for illegally fishing inside Russia’s exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan. Moscow had previously ignored North Korean incursions into its waters, but the increasing scale of the problem and a mounting domestic outcry finally prompted authorities to take action. In an email interview with WPR, Artyom Lukin, a scholar specializing in Russia’s ties with East Asia at the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia, explains the timing behind Russia’s clampdown and how this issue is affecting the two countries’ broader relationship.

World Politics Review: How extensive is the North Korean practice of poaching in waters claimed by Russia? Has it intensified in recent years due to harsher sanctions being imposed on North Korea? ...

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