12 Jul 2013 11:19
BEIJING, July 9 (Bernama) -- Chinese fishermen were told to stop fishing in waters off North Korea's east coast due to a bilateral dispute over fuel supplies, Xinhua news agency reported. The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) said in a statement the waters could pose risks as the situation remains complicated and uncertain in the Korean Peninsula and due to their proximity to Russia, Japan and South Korea. "A large number of Chinese trawlers work in the waters every year and without stringent rules and arrangements, disputes can happen," the statement said. However, trawlers area allowed to fish in the waters after obtaining approval from authorities in China and North Korea. In late June, North Korea said Chinese ships were required to purchase fuel from its suppliers instead of making their own arrangements as in the past. "North Korea's decision causes serious harm and potential risks to regular operations and the work safety of Chinese trawlers," the statement added. The MOA and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have asked local authorities to recall trawlers working in the waters concerned and increase supervision to prevent possible disputes. Individuals and organisations that fish in the waters without approval of the Chinese government will be punished according to criminal laws. --BERNAMA EE