On the Radar: Possible N. Korea defectors, Minnesota fire, Thailand floods
A Japanese patrol craft tows a boat that allegedly carried nine North Koreans to Japanese waters.
September 14th, 2011
05:40 AM ET

On the Radar: Possible N. Korea defectors, Minnesota fire, Thailand floods

Three things you need to know today.

North Korea defectors: Nine possible North Korean defectors who sailed to Japan were moved to a refugee facility in the southern part of the country Wednesday afternoon, according to government officials.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujiwara said the nine people would be temporarily held at an immigration facility. Earlier in the day, Fujiwara disputed local reports that they would be sent to South Korea.

The small wooden boat carrying nine men, women and children onboard claiming they were from North Korea was spotted off Japan's western coast Tuesday morning.

A fisherman saw the boat drifting about 25 kilometers (15 miles) off the coast of Noto peninsula of Ishikawa prefecture and reported it to authorities.

It is rare for North Korean defectors to sail to Japan's coast. According to coast guard records, there have been only two other cases.

Minnesota fire: A wildfire in a northeast Minnesota woodland grew by nearly tenfold Tuesday, giving off a pall of smoke that stretched from the Canadian border to southern Wisconsin.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton called in National Guard helicopters to assist firefighters as the Pagami Creek fire, in the remote Superior National Forest, spread from about 11,000 acres on Monday to more than 100,000 by Tuesday afternoon, said Doug Anderson, a spokesman for the firefighting effort.

The blaze started in mid-August after a lightning strike, but jumped about 16 miles eastward on Monday - "unprecedented for northern Minnesota," said Lisa Radosevich-Craig, another spokeswoman for the fire command.

No injuries were reported and no buildings had been destroyed, but 36 homes in the nearby community of Isabella were evacuated as a precaution, she said.

Thailand floods: Heavy rains  and flooding have killed at least 87 people in Thailand in recent months, local authorities said.

The deaths occurred between July 29 and September 12, according to the Interior Ministry.

Flooding is still affecting 16 provinces, with Phichit   in the north among the hardest-hit.

Twenty-three people died in  Phichit province, mostly from drowning, according to officials.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Name*eileen

    This is bad.

    September 14, 2011 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. citizen


    September 14, 2011 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. gung hoe

    And the earth shall be cleansed with fire Pray for the safty of those firefighters

    September 14, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    The smoke from this fire made it to Chicago...

    My heart goes out to the people of Thailand.
    my condolences to the families who lost loved ones.

    September 14, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    I guess that almost everyone has their price. I wonder just how much the C.I.A. offered these 9 North Koreans to defect. I bet that it was a pretty penny but this they will never tell. I expect that these defectors, like so many others, will live like kings from now on!!!

    September 14, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    George Patton troll who stole gung hoe's name:
    You are cordially invited to defect yourself to North Korea.
    I will gladly pay you to either do that, or to just shut up.

    September 14, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. justathought

    WOW! Tornados, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and wild fires. The country is being destroyed by natural disasters. I think it's time the government ought to be thinking of our own welfare instead of the misused foreign aid that is being sent out.

    September 14, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. Caleb

    Interesting to read, but I'm not sure what any of those events have to do with one another, or how they relate.

    September 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobcat2u

    I just can't understand why anyone would want to defect from a wonderful country like North Korea.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. fernace

    Yep, we're definitely living in the last days! it's been the last days before, but these are certainly the last of the last days I'm not too worried though, cause Jazzzzz told me the door of her Ark is always open for me, so I'm good! Hope all of y'all are too!

    September 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jim

    Can't we keep our religion to ourselves and let the rest of us do the same? @justathought: agreed. Why in the world we continue borrowing money to help other countries as we go further and further into debt is beyond me. It's the definition of insanity.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bunga-bunga

    Natural Disaster,Flooding everywhere,Earthquake,World going hungry,People killing eachother, GLOBAL economy problems and an asteroid aiming to EARTH. WE DEFINATELY NEED TO REPENT OUR SINS AND PRAY FOR EACH OTHER. THESE ARE EXACTLY WHAT THE BIBLE TELL US THAT WOULD HAPPEN IN THE LAST DAYS.

    September 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |