• Kyodo

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Toyama Prefectural Police said Friday that they found a torpedo-shaped sea vehicle in late March at the mouth of a river here, suggesting the possible entry of a North Korean agent into Japan.

The self-propelled vehicle was found buried in a sandbank at the mouth of the Kurobe River in Kurobe, Toyama Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast. It is similar to one found in 1990 further along the coast in Mihama, Fukui Prefecture, alongside the body of a man that Japanese authorities believe was a North Korean agent.

The cylinder-shaped green vehicle, made of aluminum alloy and driven by a propeller, is apparently a sort of water scooter, they said. It is about 160 cm in length, 27 cm in diameter and 78 kg in weight.

The back half of the vehicle is damaged and the propeller was not working when police inspected it.

Police believe the vehicle, found in the sandbank at 2:30 p.m. on March 29 by a person walking along the river mouth, had been buried intentionally to escape detection.

No other indication of an agent’s entry was found at the site, they said.

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