Last December the crew of a North Korean cargo ship experienced technical difficulties, killing the power, and ultimately leaving the ship adrift. 22 of the crew boarded a life raft, but two other crewman were left behind .
The bodies of these men were recently found along the Japanese coast, Japan’s Kyodo News reports.
It remains unclear how they they ended up in the water. According to North Korea News, one of the bodies was still holding a metal tube containing two pictures of previous leaders Kim Il-Song and Kim Jong-il.
From NK News:
Japanese media reports did not disclose further details regarding the images of the two North Korean leaders, but superficial analysis would suggest they were the official portraits of the late leaders from the ship’s bridge (the crew member may have saved the portraits out of loyalty, or for his own security).
It’s possible that the ship — currently still missing — was sinking, and one of the crewman grabbed the images, rolled them up, and put them in the tube prior to ditching the vessel. North Korean citizens are notoriously loyal to their leaders, in an even more notoriously closed society.
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