Sun, Aug 09, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Indian coast guard detains ‘suspicious’ North Korean ship


India’s coast guard detained a “suspicious” North Korean cargo ship after a six-hour chase off the country’s southeastern coast, a newspaper report said yesterday.

The MV Mu San was pursued by the coast guard, which opened fire above the vessel after the ship attempted to flee an island in the Andaman and Nicobar group where it had dropped anchor without permission on Wednesday, the Times of India said.

“We opened fire twice in the air and only then did Mu San obey our orders,” the daily quoted K.R. Nautiyal, a coast guard official, as saying.

The ship was escorted to Port Blair, capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

A preliminary search by the coast guard revealed the ship was carrying sugar and had 39 people on board.

The ship will be thoroughly searched by additional coast guard officials who were on their way to the remote islands in the Bay of Bengal.

North Korean ships have in the past been involved in clandestinely ferrying nuclear materials, missile parts and arms to trouble spots across the world.

The US Navy tracked a North Korean cargo vessel in June that was believed to be heading for Myanmar but turned back toward North Korea on June 28.

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