Eight skeletonised bodies in fishing boat drift onto Japanese beach

North Korea'Ghost Ships Carrying Dead Bodies Wash Ashore in Japan

Ships believed to have come from North Korea and filled with dead bodies and skeletons have been washing up on the west coast of Japan, as desperate fishermen are forced further and further out to sea in search of a catch.

Eight bodies were discovered aboard a vessel that was shipwrecked on a Japanese beach, authorities have confirmed. Some bodies have been reduced to bone, it added.

He said local authorities, fishermen and residents should report seeing any questionable boats or people.

Officials say the "ghost ship", which carried the remains of eight bodies, could be evidence of North Koreans trying to escape Kim Jong-un's oppressive regime as the dictator tightened his grip on those fleeing North Korea this year, according to Fox News. Some media outlets reported that the men wished to be returned to North Korea.

Though the nationalities of the two males have not yet been established, what appeared to be a North Korean brand of cigarettes and life jackets with Korean lettering on them were close by, said the JCG's Sado station.

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The men, who identified themselves as North Koreans, said that their ship experienced mechanical problems. Their cause of death had not yet been determined.

Dr John Nilsson-Wright, head of the Asia Programme at think-tank Chatham House told the BBC it wouldn't make sense for North Korean defectors to travel to Japan. Oh reportedly suffered from a variety of ailments in addition to gunshot wounds, including two types of roundworms, hepatitis B and inactive tuberculosis.

But the Japanese coastguard occasionally rescues North Korean fishermen in maritime accidents in regional waters.

A wooden boat, which drifted ashore with eight partially skeletal bodies and was found by the Japan Coast Guard, is seen in Oga, Akita Prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo Nov. 27, 2017.


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