Japan: Bodies Recovered From North Korean Ghost Ship

Japanese authorities have found another ghost ship with several bodies. Authorities suspect the ship, which was found in central Japan, is from North Korea. Police told the ABC that the bodies had badges of North Korea’s former leaders.

In recent months, authorities have found several ghost ships. The majority of them have been found with decomposing bodies, believed to be North Korean fishermen or soldiers that were sent out to make catches.

Authorities found the ship last week and discovered one body but the weather conditions suspended the search operation. A police official told local media that they went back on Monday and found seven more bodies. The official added that they are trying to find more information and if they cannot find who the ship belongs to, they will give it to the government.

Numbers from the Japanese Coastguard recently revealed that 104 vessels had been found last year. In 2016, authorities found 66 vessels. The investigation continues as authorities have only found the badges and a cigarette box.

Experts say North Korea is sending soldiers and fishermen out to the sea to make catches. The vessels used often lack the technology or supplies needed to make the journey. The majority of the discoveries often end in mystery as the two have no diplomatic channels.

Experts also believe that the soldiers being sent out to sea know nothing about fishing. The fishermen also being sent out face other problems such as low supply of fuel and water. Authorities are not able to confirm where many of these vessels are coming from but the badges, markings on the boats and other items found suggest that they are from North Korea.

In November, authorities found four vessels in two weeks. One of the vessels had eight skeletons inside. One of the vessels had three North Koreans while the other had four bodies. Officials confirmed that some of the people rescued from the vessels requested to be returned to their country.

In the last three years, authorities have found several boats believed to be from North Korea. The majority of them are carrying fishing equipment, which suggests that they are sending more and more soldiers and fishermen to make catches. The sanctions and plans to continue the missile program are said to be some of the reasons why North Korea has heavily focused on the fishing industry.