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“Two More Unidentified Boats“

Posted December. 29, 2001 14:00,   


In relation to the sunken unidentified boat which is presumed as a spy boat of North Korea, the Sankei newspaper reported, citing an official of the government on 28th, that there were two other unidentified boats near Amami Oshima where the mystery boat was discovered on 22nd.

The analysis of the film taken by infrared camera revealed that one of the two engines in front section of the boat was out of order and the sunken unidentified boat could only make no more than 15 knots. The two spy boats of North Korea that intruded into the Noto peninsula in March 1999 ran away in 30 knots.

Japanese Coast Guard (JCG) announced that it was a rare case that three boats convoyed together. The JCG also said that it could not search for other two boats since it did not have any information in advance and that the other boats might have gone back to North Korea.

The Kagoshima police prefecture autopsied the two male corpses, recovered from the waters where the unidentified boat sank, in Kagoshima University, and analyzed the contents of a stomach to see whether they took poison. The police will identify the nationality of the boat through the 163 flotsam of the boat, oil, and the result of autopsy.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government plans to hold the Korea-Japan Security Meeting in Tokyo, attended by officials of foreign affairs and defense ministry of each country, to discuss the measure for the unidentified boat in February next year. Although both countries have had the annual meeting, they couldn`t have one this year because of the history textbook matter.

Japan will bring up the incident in the Trilateral Coordination Oversight Group (TCOG) meeting in Seoul late January next year. Japan is expected to apply for the various kinds of sanctions on North Korea, if the unidentified boat turns out to be a spy ship of North Korea. Korea and U.S., however, don`t want tension around the Korea peninsula, and expect mediation among 3 countries.