A North Korean coastguard ship seized a Russian yacht with five crew members on Friday, prompting Moscow to demand an explanation from Pyongyang, as per reports on Saturday. The yacht was reportedly returning with Russian athletes from an international competition in South Korea, according to Sputnik International.
The Russian yacht Elfin was detained by North Korea while it was returning from South Korea through the Sea of Japan, according to Russia's TASS news agency. The vessel was travelling from South Korea's port city of Pusan to Vladivostok, with Russian authorities claiming the yacht was in neutral waters when it was seized by the North Korean coast guards.
Russia's Foreign Ministry has reportedly issued a note to Pyongyang demanding an explanation over the incident, according to Reuters.
"The yacht is very small, just 28 feet long. It is very easy to tug. The reasons remain unclear," a spokesman for the yachting club, Seven Feet, told TASS. The yacht is currently being held at North Korea's Kimchaek port.
Russia is among the few allies of the isolated Kim Jong-un regime, apart from China. In recent months, however, Moscow has been critical of Pyongyang's nuclear threats.