Eight North Koreans stranded on the japanese coasts

Elias Hubbard
November 24, 2017

Responding to a call, the police found the men on the coast near the town of Yurihonjo late on Thursday.

Wreckage from North Korean boats sometimes washes ashore in northern Japan during winter due to seasonal winds.

The men were able to walk unaided, according to national broadcaster NHK.

The men, said to be in good condition, spoke what seemed to be Korean, the police said.

Television footage from a pier in the city of Yurihonjo on Japan's northwestern coast showed a wooden boat rigged with bare light bulbs, used to attract fish and squid in dark waters, floating in rough water.

Hachiro Okonogi, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, told reporters that the eight men said they had been fishing when the boat's propeller stopped and they drifted ashore.

It is not known whether the men intend to stay in Japan or return to North Korea. They later found the men on the wooden boat at a nearby marina.

Japan regularly sees North Korean fishing boats straying into its territory, and its coastguard has occasionally had to rescue fishermen, the BBC reported.

Last week a North Korean soldier dramatically defected to the South after being shot and wounded by his country's military as he made his getaway across the border in the heavily guarded Demilitarised Zone between the two countries.

Japan and North Korea have no diplomatic ties and historical tensions have been compounded by Pyongyang's recent missile and nuclear threats.

The coastguard last week rescued three out of 12 North Korean fishermen after their boat capsized in high seas. The survivors were returned home.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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