North Koreans Seized Chinese Boat

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any tenser around the Korean peninsula. Chinese officials on Sunday asked North Korea to help secure the release of a Chinese fishing vessel taken hostage earlier this month. The boat’s owner, Yu Xuejun, said the captors had asked for ransom of 600,000 yuan, or $100,000. Chinese officials have been seeking the return of the 16-member crew diplomatically, although now might not be the best time: things have been icy between the two former allies since North Korea’s third nuclear test in February. Meanwhile on Monday, North Korea fired its sixth missile in three days—exercises the state news agency said are meant to show defiance against the U.S. and South Korea.