North Koreans Found Adrift Off Japan’s Coast

Posted January 6th, 2012 at 10:30 am (UTC-5)
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Three survivors of what appears to be a fishing trip gone wrong are alive, rescued off the western coast of Japan.

Japanese officials found the small, wooden boat with Korean characters on it drifting Friday about one kilometer from the island of Okinoshima.

Officials say there was also one body in the boat.

The survivors — apparently North Koreans — are quoted as saying they had left for a fishing trip in mid-December and developed engine trouble. They say they are not defectors, and have asked to return to North Korea.

This past September, the Japanese Coast Guard found a group of nine North Korean defectors who had lost their way. The nine were eventually taken to South Korea.