US News More NKorean 'ghost boats,' bodies wash up on Japan's shores

14:22  04 december  2017
14:22  04 december  2017 Source:   Associated Press

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Mysterious " ghost ships" have been washing up on the western shores of Japan , prompting speculation about North Korean defectors and purges. Over the past two months at least 13 wooden boats have turned up , with more than 20 decaying bodies on board.

' Ghost ships' filled with dead bodies found near Japan 00:58. Story highlights. Boats adrift off the coast of Japan or wrecked on its coast have revealed a (CNN) An unsettling mystery has washed up on Japan ' s shores . READ MORE : North Korean defector: Kim Jong Un's days are numbered.

A wooden boat is left after being washed ashore in Tsuruoka, Yamagata prefecture, northern Japan Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. Coast guard said a Japanese fishing boat picked up a male body floating off the coast of Sakata in the prefecture and two more bodies washed up on a nearby beach an hour and half later. Twenty-eight of the vessels, dubbed © The Associated Press A wooden boat is left after being washed ashore in Tsuruoka, Yamagata prefecture, northern Japan Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. Coast guard said a Japanese fishing boat picked up a male body floating off the coast of Sakata in the prefecture and two more bodies washed up on a nearby beach an hour and half later. Twenty-eight of the vessels, dubbed "ghost boats," were detected in November, up from just four in November last year. (Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO — Three bodies of people believed to be North Koreans were recovered in northern Japan on Monday, two days after authorities found a dilapidated empty boat, coast guard officials said.

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Hundreds of North Korean fishing boats have washed up on Japan ' s shores in the last five years after fishermen got lost at sea and died. Japanese media quoted maritime police as saying 227 North Korean fishing boats have washed up there since January 2013.

Korean " ghost ships" carrying corpses have washed ashore in Japan , but the phenomenon is neither new nor poorly understood. NEWS: On 1 December 2015 Reuters published a since-deleted article titled “North Korean ghost boats , in deadly hunt for fish, wash up in Japan ,” reporting

The coast guard said a Japanese fishing boat picked up a male body floating off the coast of Sakata in Yamagata prefecture and two more bodies washed up on a nearby beach an hour and half later. The bodies were decomposed, but one had a lapel pin thought to be North Korean.

Officials are investigating if the bodies were from the severely damaged boat that washed ashore Saturday.

Winds and water currents push dozens of boats onto Japan's northern coasts annually. Rickety North Korean fishing boats are particularly vulnerable because they lack the sturdiness and equipment to return home.

But the alarming pace over the past few weeks has prompted Japanese authorities to step up patrols.

Twenty-eight of the vessels — dubbed "ghost boats" — were detected in November, up from just four in November last year. Usually, only the boats or fragments wash ashore. It is very rare for survivors to be rescued and brought ashore by the Japanese.

Possible North Korea defectors may be occupants of skeleton-filled ghost ship found on Japan coast

  Possible North Korea defectors may be occupants of skeleton-filled ghost ship found on Japan coast A skeleton-filled ghost ship carrying the remains of eight ill-fated seafarers washed ashore on Japan’s North Korean-facing coast, the Japanese Coast Guard said Monday -- days after the body of a suspected North Korean man and parts of another wrecked wooden craft were discovered on a Japanese island. The grisly find could be evidence of desperate defectors trying a new route to freedom after despot Kim Jong Un has clamped down on those fleeing the Hermit Kingdom this year.A Japanese resident spotted the 22-foot wooden boat Friday floating in Miyazawa Beach in Oga, Akita Prefecture, along the Sea of Japan, Japan Times reported.

A " ghost ship" carrying eight dead bodies is the fourth boat to wash up this month. SHARE. TWEET. The discovery was made just days after two men’s bodies were found on the western shoreline of Japan ’ s Sado Island.

A " ghost ship" carrying eight dead bodies is the fourth boat to wash up this month. SHARE. TWEET. The discovery was made just days after two men’s bodies were found on the western shoreline of Japan ’ s Sado Island.

The increase may be related to a campaign pushed by leader Kim Jong Un to boost fish harvests as a means of increasing sources of protein for the nation, which continues to fall short of food self-sufficiency and remains vulnerable to health problems caused by the lack of a varied, balanced diet.

In order to reach their quotas, the North Korean fishermen may be taking more risks and venturing farther from their usual waters.

Japanese authorities are also holding 18 people from two other boats. They claim to be North Korean.

The first batch of 10 landed on a small uninhabited island off southern Hokkaido on a damaged fishing boat and allegedly stole electronic appliances and other items from an unmanned shelter while temporarily taking refuge from rough seas. Japan's coast guard rescued them last week.

Eight other survivors managed to reach shore in Akita on a ragged boat — which is believed to have fallen apart and sunk soon after they were rescued — have been transferred to immigration custody.

Japanese officials said the 10 are being investigated for possible theft, while the other eight are expected to be sent home via China.

Boats full of dead people from North Korea keep showing up in Japan -- here's why .
Dozens of ships containing dead bodies have washed up in Japan recently. All the evidence indicates that the "ghost ships" are coming from North Korea.Dozens of dead bodies have mysteriously washed up on Japan's shores over the past few weeks - and all the evidence points to North Korea.

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