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North Korean ‘Ghost-Ships’ Washing Up In Japan Reveal Country’s Desperation For Food and Funds

Source: NPR/Laurel Wamsley - December 7, 2017 in Featured, Politics

North Korean ‘Ghost-Ships’ Washing Up In Japan Reveal Country’s Desperation For Food and Funds
Photo: Nikita Andreev/Unsplash

A small wooden boat washed ashore in the Akita prefecture of Japan on Monday. Inside the ghost ship were the bodies of eight people, partially skeletonized.

The Japan Coast Guard said it was working to determine the nationalities of the dead, but a Japanese Coast Guard official told The Associated Press that one of the men was holding North Korean currency.

The boat washed ashore some 45 miles north of where another boat came ashore last week with eight men who said they were from North Korea, Reuters reports. They had been stranded with their squid catch, according to the AP.

Also this month, the coast guard reportedly rescued three North Korean fishermen whose boat had capsized. The bodies of two men were found on the shore of an island in the Sea of Japan, and Reuters says North Korean cigarettes and life jackets bearing Korean lettering were found nearby.

In response, the Japan Coast Guard says it is stepping up its watch.

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