It’s rare for North Korean defectors to set sail for Japan, but last September, a group of nine North Koreans, who have since resettled in South Korea, was discovered drifting about 15 miles off the coast of Noto peninsula.
In 2006, four other North Koreans also successfully floated to northern Japan. And previously, in 1987, a family of 11 drifted from North Korea to west Japan.
This group was not so fortunate. A small wooden boat was discovered early morning Wednesday off the western island of Sado in Japan contained decomposing bodies, according to local police. The boat was badly damaged and contained faint markings on the side that appeared to be Korean characters.
Police would not say exactly how many bodies were found on the boat, but said that some bodies had decomposed to the point where only skeletons remained. Local Japanese media reported five bodies were found.