Japan searching for North Korean boat crew who fell into sea

The coast guard said it dispatched four patrol vessels and two aircraft after receiving calls reporting a capsized boat. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 16 October 2019

Japan searching for North Korean boat crew who fell into sea

  • Officials say the boat capsized in a rich fishing ground frequented by North Korean poachers
  • Another North Korean boat sank in a recent incident after colliding with a Japanese fishing vessel

TOKYO: The Japanese coast guard was searching for crew members who fell into the sea from a wooden North Korean fishing boat that capsized off Japan’s northwestern coast, officials said Wednesday.
The coast guard said it dispatched four patrol vessels and two aircraft after receiving information of the capsizing earlier Wednesday.
Officials said the incident occurred near an area called Yamatotai, a rich fishing ground that’s also crowded with North Korean poachers.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that a Japanese fisheries inspection ship received a distress call from another North Korean boat. He said the Japanese fisheries and coast guard patrol boats are jointly searching for the missing.
No further details were available, including the number of crew or why the boat capsized. It was not immediately known if the boat was inside Japan’s 200-mile (322-kilometer) exclusive economic zone, where the country has the right to all resources.
Last week, a North Korean boat in the area sank after a collision with a Japanese fisheries boat warning it to leave the Japanese exclusive economic zone. About 60 crew members of the North Korean steel boat were safely rescued by another boat from the North.
Japanese Fishing Agency and coast guard officials said they did not arrest the North Koreans because their boat had sunk and could not obtain proof they were fishing illegaly. The area is too deep to retrieve the sunken ship, officials said.
The government plans to release a video around the time of the collision.
Japan has stepped up sea patrols after noticing more North Korean boats as Pyongyang tries to boost fish harvests.


Bangladesh train collision kills 15, toll could rise

Updated 14 min 30 sec ago

Bangladesh train collision kills 15, toll could rise

  • Most passengers were asleep at the time of the crash
  • Railway accidents in Bangladesh happen relatively frequently, many at unsupervised crossings, and also because of the poor condition of tracks

DHAKA: Rescuers in Bangladesh were battling on Tuesday to pull passengers from mangled wreckage after a head-on collision of two trains killed at least 15 people and injured more than 40, officials said.
A train heading for the southern port city of Chittagong and one bound for Dhaka collided at around 3 a.m. (2100 GMT) in Brahmanbaria, about 100 km east of the capital, crumpling three compartments of the Chittagong-bound train.
“So far, 15 bodies have been recovered,” district official Hayat Ud Dowlah Khan said by telephone from the accident site, warning that the toll could rise during the rescue, mounted by fire, police, border guard and army officials.
“More than 40 injured people have been admitted in hospitals,” Khan said, adding that some were in critical condition.
Most passengers were asleep at the time of the crash.
“Suddenly there was a big bang. I saw people were screaming,” a passenger of the Dhaka-bound train said in television images from the site.
It was not immediately clear how the two trains came to be on the same track, and the government has ordered an investigation.
“One of the trains might have broken the signal, leading to the tragedy,” one police official, Shayamal Kanti Das, told reporters.
Railway accidents in Bangladesh happen relatively frequently, many at unsupervised crossings, and also because of the poor condition of tracks.