tokio - The Japanese authorities have already found 83 boats this year that are probably from North Korea. That is the highest number in five years time, reported news channel NHK. These are vessels that drift around the coast or washed ashore.
The authorities found a boat with two bodies on board Wednesday. They wore badges with the image of the former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the father of dictator Kim Jong-un. A total of nineteen bodies were found this year on the ships, which in most cases were empty. Dozens of other people could be taken alive from the vessels.
Many possible reasons are suggested for the increase in the number of ships encountered. For example, the North Koreans may send their fishermen to Japanese waters more often. Some Japanese also speculate about infiltration by North Korean spies. The Japanese Coast Guard has announced that it will patrol more often.