In the fringe magazine ze.tt, which belongs to mainstream media outlet ZEIT online, I found a remarkable horror story.
Last month alone, four ships have floated onto the shores of Japan. The ships were either unmanned or the men on board were dead. Eight corpses have been found on these four ships, but the phenomenon seems to be much older. Satoru Miyamoto, a professor of the Seigakuin University, told CNN that there is an increase in such ghost ship incidents since 2013.
The ships are all in bad shape, the dead and the occasionally found survivors look emaciated. Exhaustion is assumed to be the cause of death. Not only does the media avoid the story because it makes for a bad contrast between refugees and gold diggers, there also seems to be an odd cover-up narrative at play when the story does eventually surface.
The frail bodies are supposed to be fishers that were over-challenged by the onus of the expectations placed on them by the regime. I’m sure the occasionally rescued people say as defence that they were just out fishing. North Korea has a record of killing disloyal citizens even abroad. Who believes that people, said to be fishers, couldn’t catch fish to feed themselves?
Satoru Miyamoto, the professor mentioned above, was actually more detailed in his statement to CNN. He linked the increase of ghost ship sightings to Kim Jong Un’s decision to expand his income from fishery to invest more money into the military.
Of course, socialism is linked to exploitation and militarism, but in the mind of the left these things are features of the right. To say it more clearly, if even the clandestine support of North Korea is no longer tenable, the left will drop the country like a hot potato with the claim that we witness an instance of capitalism or, if they are brazen enough, some fascist, right-wing extremism.
As long as the relationship of the left with North Korea is still lukewarm, the ghost ship refugee crisis is shrouded under a second lie. The reports may be semi-fake. Not the reports about the ships themselves, but about the conditions in North Korea. The magazine ze.tt writes: “The image of North Korea is a media creation” (German: Das Bild Nordkoreas ist mediengemacht). So not only eye-witness accounts like this TED talk, but also the mainstream media should be ignored.
This is an astonishing statement from a news publisher that has in the past described everybody who shows distrust in CNN, Washington Post and the New York Times as an assailant on the freedom of the press. For years Holtzbrinck (owner of ze.tt, ZEIT, Tagesspiegel, Wirtschaftswoche etc) as well as the German mainstream media in general have linked the phrase ‘lying press’ (German: Lügenpresse) to the Nazis in order to say that a distrust in the media is akin to supporting Hitler.
“What happens in the country can only be guessed”, ze.tt suggests. The ordinary Japanese citizens who don’t believe the narrative are mocked because they don’t trust the excuse of the rescued Koreans who must fear to be assassinated for disloyalty. The same media that tells us over and over again that Muslims must not be taken by their own words become very insistent that we accept the prepared statements of these Koreans refugees at face value. Nothing to see here. Just fishing. How strange.
(Note: Germany has diplomatic ties to North Korea. The embassy in Berlin is considered to be an important source of foreign currency.)