26 N Koreans rescued as cargo ship sinks off Japan

A Japan Coast Guard vessel rescued sailors from a sinking North Korean ship on Thursday. AFP

TOKYO —

Japan rescued 26 North Koreans after they abandoned their sinking cargo vessel in the East China Sea, the coast guard said Thursday.

Japan Coast Guard patrol boats plucked the ship’s entire crew out of the water in the early hours of the morning after they had abandoned the vessel and taken to life boats.

A distress signal was received Wednesday from the 6,558-ton Chong Gen which began sinking about 60 kilometers southwest of Fukue island in Nagasaki Prefecture, the spokesman said.

The ship finally sank before dawn some 27 kilometers from the island.

The coast guard cited the crew as saying the ship was transporting rice from North Korea’s port of Nampo on its west coast to the east coast city of Wonsan.

That route entails travelling around the southern end of the Korean peninsula.

“We rescued all the crew members safely and no one was injured,” the coast guard spokesman said.

“We are investigating the cause of the accident by interviewing them on our patrol ship offshore,” he added.

The spokesman said no decision has been made on what to do with the crew as the two countries have no diplomatic relations.

© 2017 AFP

  • 7

    sensei258

    Let's see how many of them want to go back. I bet if they have no family it's not going to happen

  • 3

    Aly Rustom

    The spokesman said no decision has been made on what to do with the crew as the two countries have no diplomatic relations.

    Send them to China or S Korea. Let them deal with it.

  • 8

    Wakarimasen

    My guess is if they get sent back they will languish in some prison or similar for a while. to ensure they haven't been corrupted by their contact with decadent Japanese.

  • 2

    SenseNotSoCommon

    the ship was transporting rice from North Korea’s port of Nampo on its west coast to the east coast city of Wonsan

    256km on the Pyongyang-Wonsan highway.

    https://www.google.co.jp/maps/dir/Wonsan+Seaport,+Wonsan,+North+Korea/北朝鮮+平安南道+ナムポ/@38.7123667,126.5164637,19303m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x5fd7051a10d2cbdb:0x252f283a44258e33!2m2!1d127.4554825!2d39.1721263!1m5!1m1!1s0x357e44e524754829:0xd331800b0bba1c0e!2m2!1d125.3246769!2d38.7522606?hl=ja

  • 2

    Laguna

    Yeah, Sense - we all know the excellent state of North Korean highways - not to mention the high chance that some product will "fall off the truck."

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    sensei258: "Let's see how many of them want to go back. I bet if they have no family it's not going to happen"

    While they might not want to go back if they have no family (depends on how brainwashed they are), there is next to zero chance Japan would allow them to stay. Not due to sentiment at the moment, but because of their near zero percent chance of taking in refugees, especially for political asylum. The only thing they could do is act as a third party if the group (or some of them) wanted to defect to SK.

  • 1

    Patric Spohn

    Interesting. So while they where rescued, the ship was still travelling/drifting 18 miles. Not that it is impossible, just a huge distance to cover for a boat in distress.

  • 1

    kibousha

    Plot twist, knowing full well the Japanese will rescue those people, Kim Jong Un planted a spy among the people in the boat that he timed to sink in East China Sea.

  • 5

    Mocheake

    Nice humane thing to do. I am sure the crew members are extremely grateful.

  • 0

    Cogito Ergo Sum

    At least the Japanese acted human....and I hope it doesn't end there,that they will pursue the safe return home or to any other destination desired by the N.Koreans.

  • 4

    toshiko

    Everyone is rescued. Well work of Coast Guard.

  • 0

    Asakaze

    the ship was still travelling/drifting 18 miles. Not that it is impossible, just a huge distance to cover for a boat in distress.

    Nothing impossible or strange. Sometimes when a ship is in distress (for example, if the ship is listing heavily) it's better to abandon it as quick as possible, but even in a such situation ships can drift quite a distance due to currents and winds.

  • 3

    jj1067

    Water is vitally icy this season I'm glad everyone was rescued. Good job Coast Guard I'm sure it was a close incident. I hope they enjoy some nice meals in Japan before they go anywhere.

  • 0

    katsu78

    kiboushaJAN. 12, 2017 - 08:04PM JST Plot twist, knowing full well the Japanese will rescue those people, Kim Jong Un planted a spy among the people in the boat that he timed to sink in East China Sea.

    As long as we're making stuff up, can the spy also be a robot? Ooh! ooh! Or from the future?! I saw that movie and it was rad!

    Kudos to the Japanese Coast Guard!

  • 0

    bjones

    Please give them a tour of Seoul before letting them decide to return to paradise.

  • 0

    Makoto Shimizu

    Hope that this is an opportunity to demonstrate kindness and a free world to these 26 North Koreans

  • 0

    Gerard Michael Sugrue

    personal thanks, from Kim Jong- Un No Bomb till next Week.

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