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Accident with Japan patrol boat leaves North Korean fishing boat flooded

An official of the Japanese Fisheries Agency speaks to media following a collision between its patrol boat and a North Korean fishing boat, in Tokyo Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. The agency said Monday's collision occurred in the area known as Yamatotai, off Japan's northern coast of the Noto Peninsula. (Mizuki Ikari/Kyodo News via AP)

A Japanese patrol boat and a large North Korean fishing vessel were involved in an accident on Monday, and the North Korean boat was flooded and about 20 of its crew were adrift in the Sea of Japan, the Coast Guard said.

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The Japanese boat, which belongs to the Fisheries Agency, was attempting to rescue the crew, a spokesman at the Coast Guard said.

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The accident happened 350 km (217 miles) northwest of Noto peninsula, central Japan, at around 9:10 a.m. (0010 GMT), the spokesman said, saying that the Coast Guard was dispatching patrol ships to help with the rescue.

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Japanese public broadcaster NHK quoted Hiroyuki Suematsu, vice minister of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, as saying that the North Korean ship might have sunk, and that the collision occurred within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

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