A mix of 29 Chinese and North Korean fishermen were taken hostage by armed men on a gunboat while fishing in the Yellow Sea between the People’s Republic of China and the Korean peninsula.

It was not immediately clear if the hostages were held by North Korean authorities or an unaffiliated group. Thus far there is no comment from Pyongyang.

Captors have demanded varying levels of payment, finally settling on 900,000 yuan. The Chinese government hopes the situation can be resolved peacefully between the two nations. Adding to the mystery, the fishermen were said to be in Chinese territorial waters when the incident took place.

They had guns; no one resisted. The captured fishermen have been locked in a small house, with no food to eat.

Zhang Dechang, boat owner

[BBC]