ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

heavy-rain-night
50°
Showers
H 53° L 50°
  • heavy-rain-night
    50°
    Current Conditions
    Showers. H 53° L 50°
  • rain-day
    51°
    Morning
    Showers. H 53° L 50°
  • cloudy-day
    55°
    Afternoon
    Cloudy. H 59° L 50°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

News
North Korean 'ghost ships' are turning up at alarming rates
Close

North Korean 'ghost ships' are turning up at alarming rates

North Korean 'ghost ships' are turning up at alarming rates
Photo Credit: Iori Sagisawa/AP
FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2017 file photo, a wooden boat is seen off Matsumae town, Hokkaido northern Japan. Twenty-eight of the vessels, dubbed “ghost boats,” were detected in November, up from just four in November last year. Usually, only the boats or fragments wash ashore. It is very rare for survivors to be rescued and brought ashore by the Japanese. (Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News via AP, File)

North Korean 'ghost ships' are turning up at alarming rates

Japan’s recent decision to up its patrols in response to rising appearances ofimplies there might be a serious problem with North Korea’s food supply.

>> Read more trending news

The Guardian reports that at least 28 North Korean boats washed ashore or were found adrift in Japanese waters, the result of North Korean fishermen’s decision to push farther and farther out to sea to make bigger catches for their military, citizens and exports to China. Several of the vessels found were “ghost ships,” labeled as such when found with either a dead or missing crew.

Though the number of stray vessels found in Japan this year is consistent with last year’s number, some have expressed concern for the high number of ships found in November compared to the number found last November.

The Washington Post offered possible explanations for the spike in appearances, including food shortages which may be the result of tougher sanctions recently passed against the country.

“North Korean fishermen have to work harder than ever before, and they have to go farther out into the sea, but they don’t have new boats,” said Atsuhito Isozaki, associate professor of North Korean studies at Keio University in Tokyo. “Plus, North Korea doesn’t have enough gasoline anymore, so they’re running out of fuel.”

The concerning state of North Koreans’ food supply was highlighted last month following the dramatic rescue of a North Korean soldier who defected while on duty.

Oh Chong Song abandoned his post in November and began to run toward South Korea. He was shot at more than 40 times by his fellow soldiers, and at least five bullets hit him. South Korean soldiers were able to crawl to the area where he lay and he was transportedto a hospital by a United Nations Command helicopter.

While rushing to save his life, trauma surgeon Lee Cook-Jong discovered parasitic worms, some were over 10 inches long, in the soldier’s digestive tract.

The worms, which have been discovered in other defectors, indicated the use of a detrimental, government-backed approach to health and agriculture in the country: night soil.

“Night soil” is a fertilizer made up of human excrement and used by North Korean farmers. There is a perception in the country that night soil makes food taste better and the method has even been personally supported by dictator Kim Jong-Un.

The five-hour surgery consisted of removing a bullet, fixing a number of wounds caused by the bullet and removing the parasitic worms that were making their way out of Oh Chong Song’s body.

“In my over 20-year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook,” Cook-Jong later said of the flesh-colored parasites he found.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • It was a busy and emotional day on Friday in the courtroom during the Michael Bever trial. The 911 call was played and jurors heard from the surviving sister. Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler says the sister was able to testify from a separate courtroom and the jurors heard the testimony through a television. “I was very grateful to the court for the arrangements she had made to try and it make it easier on this young lady,” Kunzweiler said.  “I’m just glad that she’s been able to get through it.” During her testimony, Michael was seen crying on several occasions and putting his hands over his face. KRMG will continue to update the story as more information comes into the newsroom.  
  • If you have outdoor plans for today, bring an umbrella and be prepared to get wet. National Weather Service Meteorologist Brad McGavick says we'll see plenty of rain in Tulsa. “We’re expecting widespread showers, isolated thunderstorms,” McGavick said.  “The chance of rain is 100 percent.” It’s also going to be cooler than normal.  NWS is reporting the high will only reach around 57 degrees.   For reference, the normal high for this time of year in Tulsa is closer to 73 degrees.   Keep that umbrella handy Saturday night as well.  There is an 80 percent chance for rain and the low will be near 49 degrees.  
  • U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, took to Twitter on Thursday to call out a San Antonio school assignment about slavery that he called “unacceptable.”  >> Read more trending news Castro tweeted an image of the assignment, which asked students to list both positive and negative aspects to living as a slave.  The charter school where the assignment came from, Great Hearts, has since responded in a statement on Facebook saying that it would conduct an audit of the textbook the assignment at its Monte Vista North campus came from and decide whether or not to use the textbook in the future. The statement also said that the assignment had only been used by one teacher, at one campus:  'We fully intend to make sure something like this does not happen again and will keep parents posted as we address this issue further,' Great Hearts said of the incident.
  • A volcano in southern Japan has erupted for the first time in 250 years, and authorities set up a no-go zone around the mountain. Mount Io spewed smoke and ash high into the sky Thursday in its first eruption since 1768. Japan’s Meteorological Agency on Friday expanded a no-go zone to the entire mountain from previously just around the volcano’s crater. Explosions have briefly subsided Friday, but officials cautioned residents in nearby towns against falling volcanic rocks and ash. The volcano is part of the Kirishima mountain range on Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu. The area is about 620 miles southwest of Tokyo. Another volcano nearby also erupted violently in March for the first time in seven years. Japan sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and has 110 active volcanoes.
  • The legal fight over the 2016 elections expanded further on Friday, as the Democratic National Committee filed a wide-ranging lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s campaign, top aides, one of Mr. Trump’s sons, his son-in-law, the Russian government, and others caught up in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 race for the White House. The 66 page lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, where an FBI raid recently took place on the President’s personal lawyer, alleges a broad conspiracy involving Russia, its intelligence service, and members of the Trump inner circle, like former campaign manager Paul Manafort. “No one is above the law,” the lawsuit begins. “In the Trump Campaign, Russia found a willing and active partner in this effort.” DNC lawsuit accuses Trump campaign, Russia of a conspiracy that 'constituted an act of previously unimaginable treachery.' — Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) April 20, 2018 The charges cover everything from racketeering, conspiracy, computer fraud, trespass, and more, claiming the hacking effort was a coordinated effort with the Trump Campaign, designed to damage the bid of Hillary Clinton for the White House. Along with the Russian government and intelligence service known as the GRU, the Democratic lawsuit names Julian Assange and Wikileaks, the Trump Campaign, Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Jared Kushner, and two campaign aides who have already agreed to help the Russia investigation, George Papadopoulos and Richard Gates. The document did not seem to make public any brand new details about how the hacking occurred at the DNC or with members of the Clinton campaign. In the lawsuit, Democrats charge “Russia’s cyberattack on the DNC began only weeks after Trump announced his candidacy for President,” in June 2015. “In April 2016, another set of Russian intelligence agents successfully hacked into the DNC, saying that “massive amounts of data” were taken from DNC servers. The lawsuit makes no mention of the FBI warning to the DNC that it was being hacked, and how that was ignored for weeks by officials at DNC headquarters in Washington. If the lawsuit actually goes forward, it would not only involve evidence being gathered from those being challenged by the Democrats – but some made clear it could open the DNC hacking response to a further review as well in terms of discovery.