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Everything metallic gone from isle after N Korean visit, caretaker says

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Instead of being grateful for the place of refuge , they looted it when they left. Really robbers and thieves. They deserve no pity.

15 ( +31 / -16 )

They have absolutely no choice in the matter. They are but slaves to their own government m. They deserve a better life just like any other human being. If wouldn’t steal if they had a better life back home.

Learn some compassion please.

-7 ( +16 / -23 )

Charge them with theft and jail them. If a foreigner steals so much as a poster in N. Korea, they are beaten to death.

25 ( +34 / -9 )

A 67 year old caretaker of a remote uninhabited island except for him that makes it habituated doesn't it? I'm guessing it's tax payer funded and the objects stolen were from the 70s at best. A door knob? If you need a door knob so badly I would suggest visiting a country that has choice Japan has 6 or 7 generic door knobs but over 100 political knobs.

These North Koreans are desperate and thieving not by choice but out of desperation.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

I wonder if they had an alternative agenda, if they get caught, they get arrested and thrown into a Japanese jail, for them this is good because it better living conditions than where there from, and doing it this way there families don't get beaten (possibly) for not defecting! or they just could be nicking the stuff because they could? if this is the case tell NK that they had or were trying to defect!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan...lots of metallic waste. Answer, throwing the sea. How about giving to them? Scuba diver here, I have seen.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Calvin Loh Kok HoweToday  04:31 pm JST

Instead of being grateful for the place of refuge , they looted it when they left. Really robbers and thieves. They deserve no pity.

What evidence that these are the guys who looted the place? Sure they said they took some things, but more likely there have been others there earlier who made off with the "Two TV sets, three fridges, a washing machine, an oven/microwave, two stereo sets, a DVD/CD player, an electric saw, a stove (heater), coal, a motorbike and a generator".

Pathetic people - get my sympathy partly because they have been reduced to such desperate means.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

If genuine fisherman in distress, a little compassion goes a long way.

Where possible, show leniency, repair their boat, let the state compensate the  67-year-old caretaker of a shelter facility for local fishermen. Is it really in the public interest to prosecute these fisherman?

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

maybe he swallowed the door knob.. that why the stomach ache?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Worst Vikings ever!

It was probably either (Matsumae) Ooshima Island or ()Matsumae Kojima) Island. The latter is the southernmost bit of land in Hokkaido. The locals leave things there for fisherman who might need to take refuge, so I doubt that the pilfered swag is from the seventies. But to these North Korean blokes, time in a Japanese prison with three meals a day would probably be like a Hawaiian vacation to the rest of us.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

maybe he swallowed the door knob.. that why the stomach ache?

Or it could be the same parasites that were found in the wounded NK officer that fled the South a few weeks ago. Apparently,abi portion of the population have them.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I guess 'KIm Jong 3' needs the steel for his shiny new rockets...

13 ( +15 / -2 )

CrickyToday  05:00 pm JST

“A 67 year old caretaker of a remote uninhabited island except for him that makes it habituated doesn't it?”

Not if the caretaker only periodically visits to check/restock things, and doesn’t live on the island.

Taj,

“more likely there have been others there earlier who made off with ....”

If that were true, the caretaker would have found that things were missing earlier

Goodlucktoyou

“Japan...lots of metallic waste.”

This stuff wasn’t waste, it was buts of the shelter structure and items for the temporary use of fishers etc in distress.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@bass4funk I agree its a possibility.. but I tend to think he just needed iron...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The items stolen may buy a hefty supply of food in the DPRK. Or paid to soldiers for bribes.

That is how desperate the living situation is for these poor people.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

More materials for the next ICBM.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

or one of em is Magneto

7 ( +7 / -0 )

If I was them, I'd steal too!!

These poor guys! They probably stole the stuff so that if they somehow managed to get back they'd at least have something to show for their wayward journey and spare themselves execution.

I doubt they're spies. I doubt they floated over here in a deliberate attempt to salvage door knobs and hinges. If that's what his rockets are made of we have nothing to fear.

I hope they're being treated well. Lets be better than their regime. If they want to go back let them go back. But feed them well and show them a glance of the real Japan first. They're not your average criminal. Lets treat them like the unfortunate sods they are and show compassion and kindness please!

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

It doesn't matter what nationality of people came in what boat and landed on what body of land and what they stole no matter how petty, old or useless it was or what their reason for doing it. They stole and looting items not belonging to them. The end. Nothing else you say changes that. Period. There's no but...

They are first fishing in illegal waters for them to be in, which by the way rules out the "we were just hungry" excuse because they could have caught food to eat if they really are fishermen. So are they really sent out by someone or on their own go find the nearest land they can to steal whatever they can to bring back? Pirates then. Same as the poor desperate Somalis. So let's give those guys a pass, too. Hey man, it's just an oil tanker owned by big, evil, rich corporations. They are just trying to make a living for themselves and family.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Compassion and generosity should be shown to the truly unfortunate. However a line must be drawn between leniency and enforcing the law.

If not, murderers would be pardoned because “that A-hole deserved it.”

11 ( +13 / -2 )

During WWII all metal objects in Japan were requisitioned and sent off for making weapons. Perhaps that is what is happening in DPRK, and coupled with the government's leasing of coastal waters to the Chinese for foreign currency, why the fisherman are encouraged to go so far away to Japan on the winter seas in rickety wooden boats.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

They don't sound like fishermen to me.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Everything AND the Kitchen Sink.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How rude!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I would find it hard to show compassion toward these men. As stated in another comment, they are "fishing" in illegal waters and are common thieves. I realize that people in North Korea have hardly anything, but why don't they dock in South Korea and ask for sanctuary? Instead, they steal from Japan and as far as the one with the stomach ache, what if he is carrying an extremely deadly disease that his own government infected him with??? (scary thought). Send them back to where they came from...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They must be magicians to hide that motorbike!!!!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

They didn’t. It was clearly seen on the deck of their ship from helicopter footage.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I was curious about whether they were sent to find metal by Kim Jong-un N. Korean Government for to make bombs and missiles because North Korea has ran out of metal or simply the men are stealing those accessories for to resale in N. Korea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

These poor North Koreans obviously stole but compared to everything Japan stole from both Korea's, it's highly negligible.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

They must be magicians to hide that motorbike!!!!

They didn’t. It was clearly seen on the deck of their ship from helicopter footage.

Even if it had disappeared, it's not like they were surrounded by an entire ocean that they could've dumped it in...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Is it really in the public interest to prosecute these fisherman?

Yes.

If I was them, I'd steal too

And you would be a criminal and punished as such.

Though in this case, confiscate and burn the boat for illegal fishing and send them back to their delightful workers paradise of a home land.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I agree with Andy, but I'd hope for some pity based on the fisherman's background. Likely they will be jailed for a small length and then deported.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fisherman at peril, adrift on the sea, unable to scratch a livelihood to feed their families suffering the humiliation so resorting to thieve scavenge, or ruthless looters caught in a criminal act of Piracy.

Keep in mind recent history, there have been some eight or so NK vessels, allegedly adrift washed up on Japans coast line.

How this story is portrayed in the media will ultimately influence public opinion, drive emotions and attitudes politically. Propaganda is a powerful weapon.

Criminal acts or the real human cost of sanctions.

The North Korean dictatorship as every military dictatorship before, has invariably been skilled at victim hegemony, blurring the line between victim and perpetrator.

Is it in the public interest to ultimately be portrayed as a pious self righteous Captain Blythe, 'Cruelty with a purpose is not cruelty, it's efficiency. A man will never disobey once he's watched in mates backbone laid bare' ?    

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

These poor North Koreans obviously stole but compared to everything Japan stole from both Korea's, it's highly negligible.

This is the mindset that makes it impossible for Korea to move forward toward reconciliation with Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Criminal acts or the real human cost of sanctions.

If the North Korean people hadn't been already starving by the millions before any sanctions, this statement might actually have some merit.

They starve when we give aid, they starve when we place sanctions. You'd think that would provide some kind of clue to folks that the problem is all inside North Korea.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

More a question than a statement, extanker, weighing up the manner and context a reader would interpret an answer.

Pyongyang uses propaganda to divide public opinion, so undermining a unified response strategy between Japans allies, Washington/Seoul.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Harsh people here...

I guess half of JT commenters watch "Grave of the Fireflies" and think the children are the bad guys.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Harsh people here...

I guess half of JT commenters watch "Grave of the Fireflies" and think the children are the bad guys.

The children in Grave of the Fireflies didn't sail to Korea and steal TVs.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

When my apartment was burglarized here years back, the police told me soon all of your electronics will probably be off to China and metal items will be off to North Korea. They were correct as the thieves were arrested a year later and told them that very thing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@extanker

It's still theft, isn't it ?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Bad analogy.

Seita and Setsuko lived in a cave after being kicked out of their aunt’s house. They only stole vegetables on several occasions and eventually starved to death.

These NK fisherman have a boat and the means to make a living, and presumably a home.

If they only used the emergency items at the shelter hut, and said “thank you, we’ll be on our way now,” there would be no issue and some might even have a positive impression of NKoreans. But they chose to ransack both the shelter hut and a private lodging and vandalize the lighthouse. When they were busted, they dumped their loot into the sea rather than returning it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Seita survived to write 'Grave of the Fireflies', based in his experiences living with his sister in a cave on the shore.

Agree, incomparable but the metal would fetch a good price in NK. Having a new fridge, etc would stand out.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Right, my bad. Seita survived.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Scrap metal can fetch a good price. Or maybe it was intended to be delivered to NK authorities to be melted down for use in weapons/construction etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pacint, Seita died in Grave of Fireflies. After Seita cremates Setsuko's body, he puts her ashes in the fruit tin, which he carries along with his father's photograph, until his own death from malnutrition in Sannomiya Station a few weeks later. The author, Akiyuki Nosaka lost his little sister during the war to malnutrition and blamed himself for her death and thus wrote Grave of Fireflies as a way to honor her but that is were the parallel ends.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To me, this shows the amount of desperation of these boaters. They were probably hoping to sell the metals, for food or supplies that were needed to upgrade the ships.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stealing a few sweet potatoes to survive and stripping a refuge hut of everything down to the door knobs and hinges are very different crimes. NK continues to receive (and accept) humanitarian aid, I’m sure it doesn’t trickle down to a lowly fisherman but let’s face facts these people are on a mission to bring whatever they can back. They truly are nothing more than pirates and thieves on a small scale.

The refuge hut is more than likely maintained by the govt. but the local people may have added things like a rice cooker or TV for their own comfort. Our local flood gate house is govt. funded, but the residents have to pay things like utilities out of their own pocket.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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