A skeleton-filled ghost ship carrying the remains of eight ill-fated seafarers washed ashore on Japan’s North Korean-facing coast, the Japanese Coast Guard said Monday — days after the body of a suspected North Korean man and parts of another wrecked wooden craft were discovered on a Japanese island.
The grisly find could be evidence of desperate defectors trying a new route to freedom after despot Kim Jong Un has clamped down on those fleeing the Hermit Kingdom this year.
A Japanese resident spotted the 22-foot wooden boat Friday floating in Miyazawa Beach in Oga, Akita Prefecture, along the Sea of Japan, Japan Times reported. Officials searched the vessel Sunday and Monday and found several of the remains were “skeletonized,” indicating a long period had elapsed before it washed ashore. The remains were so severely decomposed it was hard to decipher if they were men or women. The 68-year-old woman who initially spotted the boat told Kyodo News she saw rescue workers carrying skeletal remains using stretchers.
“I was surprised to see the boat in such a bad condition,” the woman told the Japanese news site.
The discovery has puzzled Japanese officials, who found no clues that indicated the ship’s origin. The Coast Guard said the boat may have come from North Korea, according to Kyodo News.
Monday’s gruesome discovery follows a series of bizarre findings within the last week, including that of a man’s body on Sado Island, located off the coast of Japan’s northwestern prefecture of Niigata, and wooden boat parts, the coast guard official said, according to Reuters. The body was found about 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and is believed to be from North Korea after they found Korean letters written near the body.
The coast guard also found a pack of cigarettes and other personal belongings with Korean letters scrawled on them near the body, the official said. It’s still unclear how he died.
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SOURCE: Fox News, Katherine Lam