Japan Coast Guard rescues four from drifting North Korean boat

Kyodo

The Japan Coast Guard said Wednesday it has rescued four men aboard a North Korean boat that had been drifting in the Sea of Japan.

The four said they came from North Korea and had been drifting due to engine trouble, according to the 8th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture.

The four told the coast guard they want to return to North Korea after their boat, which is being towed to Miho Bay in Tottori Prefecture, has been repaired.

The 20-meter-long boat was found drifting Tuesday about 140 km northeast of the Oki islands in Shimane Prefecture.

Police Wednesday meanwhile found the body of a male aboard a wooden boat that washed ashore in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture.

A plastic tank marked with Korean characters was found on the boat, and the police suspect the vessel came from North Korea.

A wooden boat with five dead men aboard beached on Niigata Prefecture’s Sado Island in late November, followed by similar cases of drifting boats believed to have come from North Korea.