Ghost Ships Are Washing Up on Japan's Coasts, Complete With Skeletons

Violet Powell
November 30, 2017

The three survivors were returned to another North Korea vessel after expressing a wish to go home, the agency reported, meaning they were not trying to defect. The Japan Coast Guard said it first saw the craft last Friday, but bad weather prevented quicker inspection.

When spotted on a beach Sunday morning, the wooden vessel was so battered that some of bodies had been reduced to just bone, according to Japan's Kyodo News.

At least four so-called "ghost ships" have washed up on Japanese shores this month, and some contain mysterious skeletons. Their arrival appeared to be in conjunction with a military scheme to expand the North Korean fisheries industry. They are using old boats manned by the military, by people who have no knowledge about fishing. One of these ships contained eight skeletons, while other ships had living crew members that were rescued. He reportedly sends citizens and soldiers who have little to no experience in fishing out to treacherous seas to help feed North Korea's starving millions.

Other experts said at the time the 2015 arrivals could have been the result of a refugee exodus.

Professor Satoru Miyamoto, an expert on North Korea at Seigakuin University, told CNN that the number of North Korean ghost ships has risen since 2013.

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Although the nationalities of these two have not yet been established, what appeared to be North Korean cigarettes and life-jackets with Korean lettering on them were nearby, the coast guard's Sado station said.

Pyongyang has regularly claimed that those washing up on the shores of neighboring countries from North Korea are not attempting to flee but rather have simply made navigational errors.

North Korea notoriously spends the bulk of its budget on weapons development rather than feeding its own starving people.

The coast guard said they were working to establish the nationalities of the people whose remains were on the ship. "It's a situation that we will handle". "They are so desperate to make ends meet that they can not take proper preventive measures", he said. "It's a research and development effort on their part, to continue building ballistic missiles that can threaten everywhere in the world, basically".

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