Japanese police Wednesday said they had retrieved the body of a fourth South Korean climber who died along with three compatriots after the group disappeared on a mountain range in central Japan.

The male victim's body was found by a creek near the 2,728-metre (8,950-foot) Mount Hinokio in Nagano prefecture, a local police spokesman said.

Police found the bodies of three other South Koreans in the same area on Tuesday.

The four are believed to have died of hypothermia, Japanese media said, although police have yet to officially determine their cause of death.

They were part of a 20-member group of South Korean climbers, nine of whom went missing in bad weather. Five returned unharmed.

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