Only during 2017, more than 100 ships appeared on Japanese beaches, often carrying the bodies of their crew.
The coasts of the west of Japan witnessed last January the stranding of a ship with a macabre load: the corpses of seven men.
In addition to the bodies, a medal was found on Kim Jong-il (ex-supreme leader of North Korea and father of the current one, Kim Jong-un ) and a box of cigarettes with Korean letters.
The eerie discovery, however, is far from extraordinary. During 2017, 104 “ghost boats” arrived on Japanese beaches, often carrying dead crew members on board.
However, one thing is clear: the origin of these ships is almost always North Korea. The small size of the boats-typical of local manufacture and the usual finding of objects printed with Korean characters point to that origin.
Deserters or fishermen?
More difficult to determine is the reason why they end up stranded on Japanese shores with their dead crew. Some believe that these people travelling by sea are lost in a desperate attempt to escape the repressive regime of Kim Jong-un.
However, experts have noted that it is uncommon for Korean deserters to flee by boat, and they point to another theory: seafarers are fishermen who are victims of extreme pressure from the government to increase food production in the context of a weakened economy.
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Thus, exhausted, the crew of these ships are forced to venture out to sea further and further away from the Korean coasts seeking to satisfy that demand.
“For me, the most likely explanation is that they are fishermen who try to comply with massive quotas and simply run out of fuel too far from home,” says Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at the University’s Japanese campus. Temper.
Source: Big Bang News