TOKYO: Three South Koreans died during a mountaineering trip in Japan, police said Tuesday, adding that rescuers have been unable to retrieve a fourth climber due to poor weather conditions.

The trio were among nine people who disappeared near the 2,728-metre (8,950-foot) Mount Hinokio in central Japan on Monday.

“We confirmed the deaths of the three, and found the last one who was still missing unconscious,” said a local police officer in central Nagano prefecture.

“Unfortunately rescuers won’t be able to fly a helicopter to reach the last victim due to the weather conditions.”

There were no further details on the condition of the fourth climber.

The three male victims were found on mountain paths but the circumstances surrounding their deaths were not immediately clear.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency identified one of the victims as 78-year-old Park Moon-soo.

“Park’s identity has been confirmed,” said an official at South Korea’s consulate in the Japanese city of Niigata, according to Yonhap. Five of the nine missing climbers have since been found unharmed, police said. The three deceased climbers belonged to a South Korean mountaineering club but were individually taking part in a group tour with a total of 20 men and women aged 48 to 78, Yonhap said.–AFP