‘Ghost Ships’ with human skeletons have been landing on Japanese shores since the beginning of November with only a few clues to their origins.
The most recent was a 23-foot long wooden boat found with eight skeletons on board that washed up in Oga, Akita Prefecture shore (facing North Korea), according to the Japan Coast Guard. Investigators found a North Korean cigarette pack and unused life jackets with Korean lettering. For the bodies to have decomposed down to skeletons means they’ve been drifting around at sea for a long time.
This one was first spotted by a 68-year-old woman who reported the strange old boat to authorities. She said,
“I was surprised to see the boat in such a bad condition. I watched authorities use stretchers to carry bodies off the boat,”
Two other boats had some people found still alive among other dead bodies aboard. Another vessel carrying eight fishermen landed in the same prefecture on Friday last week, while two more ships were found adrift on November 19 and 13 in the ocean further north. Two capsized boats were found on November 15 and 17 off the coast of the Noto Penninsula by Japanese coast guard.
Eleven survivors were sent back to North Korea after they supposedly said they wanted to return, authorities said. Eight of them were North Korean squid fishermen and told Japanese authorities their engine lost power leaving them stranded for a month.
A Japanese expert on North Korea, Satoru Miyamoto, told CNN these ‘ghost ships’ may be from Kim Jong Un expanding fisheries to provide more money for the army. He say.
“They are using old boats manned by the military, by people who have no knowledge about fishing. It will continue,”
International sanctions were placed on North Korea by various countries for pursuing it’s nuclear missile advancement and threatening neighboring countries and the United States with nuclear strikes. North Korea’s communist dictator’s policies have caused their citizens to suffer even more during these poor times.
President Trump announced that many North Koreans don’t have plumbing or electricity with some even starving to death.
In 2015, more such boats were found on Japanese shores with both living and dead people on board. They were said to be desperate fishermen that explored too far looking for food during the famine. Others believe they were refugees escaping the grim and fearful life living under North Korean tyranny.
North Korean Capital, Pyongyang, denies any of its fishermen were trying to flee the country, saying all deaths were due to navigational errors.
Escaping North Korea
During North Korea’s terrible famine of the mid-1990’s, 30,000 North Koreans have escaped to China, South Korea, and Japan and tell stories of violent punishments for honest political speech, being sent to forced labor camps for watching American movies, and simple starvation. Many don’t even survive their escape attempt and those who are captured are severely punished.
According to Vice, “the North Korean penal code states that defectors face two years of hard labor if they are caught crossing the border,” though punishments can vary.
Radio Free Asia reported that North Korean officials warn citizens near the Chinese border that if they help people escape, they would be put to death and their family will be imprisoned or exiled to remote regions.
Despite all these threats and dangers, North Koreans flee by the hundreds.
Earlier this month, a North Korean soldier made an epic escape like out of an action movie. He raced a jeep towards the border then sprinting on foot through the border while being chased and shot at by his former comrades. Hit with 5 bullets he was rescued by South Korean soldiers who flew him in a helicopter to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery. It was a miracle he survived.
Upon examining him, his doctors discovered some symptoms of his horrible life in communist North Korea. He had hepatitis B, tuberculosis, and parasitic worms nearly a foot long in his intestines. These are evidence of the poor health conditions people suffer through over there.
This story of a young North Korean girl is heartbreaking.