Wooden fishing vessel carrying North Korean nationals found off Japanese coast – reports
A small wooden fishing boat carrying two people reportedly coming from North Korea has been found off the coast of Japan’s main island by the Japanese coast guard.
The schooner was spotted by a local fisherman near the town of Fukaura in the northern part of Honshu on Sunday morning.
The incident was reported to the Aomori Maritime Security Division and the Coast Guard dispatched a patrol boat to investigate the sighting. Officers discovered two men on the vessel, the Kyodo News Agency reports.
The Coast Guard believes that the small craft may have been carried from North Korea by a current after its engine failed. The two men are conscious and were not complaining of poor physical condition. The news outlet added that it has not been confirmed if they are indeed North Korean nationals.
Authorities are reportedly mulling over what to do with the two men and the vessel.
There have been several incidents of Russian fishermen coming to the aid of North Korean fishermen who wash up at Primorsky Krai, on Russia’s far eastern coast. The North Koreans are said to ignore weather warnings or get into difficulty due to equipment failures.
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