HOKKAIDO (TR) – A boat likely originating from North Korea that was found beached in Hokkaido Prefecture last year has been found to contain two male corpses, a discovery that was delayed due to a funding problems, authorities said on Wednesday, reports NHK (Feb. 13).
In November, the wooden vessel — measuring about 13 meters in length and 3 meters in width — drifted shore in the town of Kikonai. With the bow containing hangul writing, which is the script of the Korean language, the local coast guard office suspects it originated from North Korea.
On February 11 and 12, a salvage company discovered the two bodies aboard the vessel while using an excavator to pull it off the sand.
The delay was due to a lack of funding. Money for the removal and disposal of such vessels comes from the prefectural government.
Last year, 71 such vessels were found beached on the coasts of Hokkaido, the highest figure on record. Due to a lack of funds, the town of Kikonai was forced to delay the removal operation for 3 months.