A dead man found floating Tuesday off Fukui Prefecture in the Sea of Japan had badges on his clothes bearing the images of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong Il, the Japan Coast Guard said.
At around 9:30 a.m. an angler aboard a boat called the JCG to report that he had found a man’s body drifting some 10 km off the town of Mihama. The coast guard later retrieved the corpse.
The deceased man, who was 163 cm tall and apparently died more than a month ago, was wearing black clothes and a life jacket bearing the word “Phnom Penh” as well as badges of the two Kims, the JCG said.
These may suggest he was North Korean as Cambodia and North Korea have diplomatic ties.
The JCG plans to conduct an autopsy for further analysis.
The latest case adds to the number of bodies believed to be North Koreans that have been found along the Sea of Japan coast in recent years.
In late 2015, at least 10 wooden boats carrying a combined 26 corpses, some already skeletal, were found drifting along the coastline.
Although authorities have not revealed details, some media reports quoting North Korean experts have previously said they may have been defectors from North Korea escaping oppression under current leader Kim Jong Un.
Other reports said they were probably North Korean fishermen with poor equipment but desperate for catches under Kim’s push to increase food supply.
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