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Chinese fishermen return home after 13-day DPRK detainment

(Xinhua)

17:36, May 24, 2012

Returned Chinese fishermen take the vehicle to go to hospital for medical check in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, May 21, 2012. A total of 29 Chinese fishermen and their three fishing boats returned to Dalian on Monday morning, following 13 days of detention by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). (Xinhua/Liu Debin)

DALIAN, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-eight Chinese fishermen returned home Monday after being detained by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for 13 days.

Upon verification, a total of 28 fishermen were detained. The previous report put the number at 29, as one fisherman left the vessel due to seasickness before it was detained, which the owner of the vessel did not know.

The fishermen and their three vessels arrived at a harbor in the Jinzhou district of northeast China's port city of Dalian at about 7 a.m. They were then sent to a local hospital for medical check-ups.

The detainment left the fishermen exhausted. Most of them are in normal physical condition, though some who complained of dizziness and weakness are still hospitalized, according to Pang Hui, president of the hospital where the 28 fishermen had their medical check-ups.

"We were detained at around 1:00 p.m. on May 8 when our boats were sailing and trawling in Chinese waters. I still remember the coordinates of my boat at 123 degrees, 16 minutes east longitude and 38 degrees, 18 minutes north latitude," said Han Qiang, the skipper of one of the three detained boats.

"We learned that we were set free at about 1:00 p.m. on Sunday," said Han.

The fishermen and their boats were detained by the DPRK on May 8. Chinese authorities subsequently demanded that the DPRK ensure the safety and legitimate rights and interests of the fishermen.

The DPRK's foreign ministry announced Sunday that the detained fishermen and their vessels had been freed.

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