Eight fishermen from North Korea washed up in northern Japan

Vastavam web: A group of eight fishermen claiming to be from North Korea washed up in northern Japan after drifting there when their wooden vessel developed problems, authorities said today.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.Dozens of North Korean fishing vessels wash up on Japan’s Sea of Japan coast every year.
Sometimes their occupants have already died at sea, with their vessels delivering headless skeletons and rotten corpses to Japan’s fishing ports, with media occasionally calling them “ghost ships.” In late 2015, at least 14 weathered vessels some badly damaged or capsized with almost two dozen bodies reached Japanese shores or were found floating in regional waters.But their old and poorly equipped vessels are prone to mechanical and other problems, including running out of fuel, and there are few credible options to call for rescue.
Often surviving drifters are fishermen who request to be sent home, but some of them are defectors who are eventually sent to South Korea.
In September 2011, the Japanese coastguard rescued nine North Koreans on a small boat, included three children, who asked to be sent to South Korea.But the Japanese coastguard occasionally rescues North Korean fishermen in maritime accidents in regional waters.The coastguard last week saved three out of 12 North Korean fishermen after their boat capsized in high seas. The survivors have been returned home as they wished.