Japan protests over armed North Korean boat off Japanese coast

TOKYO -- Japan's government said it has protested to North Korea after a Japanese fisheries patrol vessel spotted an armed boat believed to be from there that was reportedly fishing illegally in Japanese economic waters.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday, July 13, the boat pointed a gun at the Japanese vessel last Friday in waters Japan claims as its exclusive economic zone.

Suga said Japan determined the boat was North Korean by observing and analyzing its crewmembers.

The Japanese boat quickly left the area for safety. Suga refused to discuss the North Korean boat's activity or intentions.

Kyodo News said the boat chased the Japanese vessel for more than 10 minutes in waters where it allegedly was fishing for squid illegally.

Japan's protest was lodged via North Korea's embassy in Beijing. (AP)

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