PYONGYANG, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Embassy in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is working on the detention by the DPRK of Chinese fishermen with their vessels, asking Pyongyang to ensure the legitimate rights and interests of the fishermen, a Chinese counsellor to the DPRK said here on Friday.
Counsellor Jiang Yaxian told Xinhua that Ambassador Liu Hongcai and other Chinese diplomats have been working actively on the detention of the Chinese fishermen along with their vessels "through negotiation and close contact", to fully ensure the Chinese crew's personal safety and their legitimate rights and interests.
According to the DPRK side, the detained Chinese fishing crew are now in "sound health condition with sufficient food and healthcare", and that "part of the detained vessels and crew have already been back to China."
Jiang said that the Chinese Embassy in the DPRK will continue its efforts to ensure that the issue will be properly addressed as soon as possible.
On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that China has been staying in close communication with the DPRK through relevant channels to push for a proper resolution to the issue at an early date.
China demands the DPRK ensure the safety and legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese fishermen, he said at a daily news briefing.
It was reported that three Chinese fishing boats and their crews were held in custody by the DPRK on May 8.