‘Ghost ship’ with human remains washes up in Japan

'Ghost ship' with human remains washes up in Japan
It was difficult for police to access the shipwreck due to bad weather. Source: EBU
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Daily US Times, Japan: Five corpses and two human heads have been found inside a shipwreck washed up on the coast of Japan.

The boat was found on Japan’s Sado Island, northwest from the mainland, on Friday. Authorities gained access on Saturday.

The ship had Korean lettering painted on its side, but police couldn’t confirm anything about it.

Whether the two heads belonged to the corpses, is not clear yet. Japanese media said the remains were ‘partially skeletonised’ which indicates that the victims had been in the sea for a long time.

‘Ghost boats’ believed to hail from North Korea often found on Japanese shores. But they are generally empty or only contains human remainings.

Exposure and starvation are the most likely explanations for crewmembers’ deaths during winter.

In previous cases, there have been speculations that the people found on the ‘ghost boats’ are defectors or spies from North Korea.

But it is also thought that extreme poverty if forcing North Koreans to fish further from home.

The tensions between North Korean and Japan remains high. In November North Korea threatened Japan with a “real ballistic missile” and called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe an ‘imbecile’ and ‘political dwarf’.

And on Friday, Friday, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK mistakenly reported North Korea had fired a missile that landed in the sea off the Japanese coast and then corrected it after 20 minutes.