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Three North Koreans, one dead body found in small boat off Shimane

26 Comments

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© 2012 AFP

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Lord, the amount of new coverage last night on this was insane - and annoying. Over and over they showed the boat and repeated the same info. If they want to go home, they can get back in their little boat. If they want to be refugees, they better not expect too much from Japan. Based on what is reported, they want to go home - did they tell them crazy Kim died?? That might change their minds.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

"They expressed their wish to go back to North Korea, Jiji Press news agency quoted officials as saying."

tmarie: I think with time there's a good chance they will change their minds because they'll be given the chance to go to South Korea which is less of a culture shock.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think with time there's a good chance they will change their minds because they'll be given the chance to go to South Korea which is less of a culture shock.

If they go to South Korea, they'll be seen as traitors by the North and things won't be pretty when they go 'home'.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This could happen to anybody, it happens to Japanese fishermen too, boat has engine troubles etc..RIP one dead guy with unknown nationality, but my guess DPRK.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Why should South Korea have to deal with them though? They ended up in Japan. Indeed, they probably will change their minds - if they haven't already - but really, is this all that newsworthy? It has been repeated for hours now.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

They want to go back to N. Korea because if they don't their family members will be severely punished. That's how the glorious system keeps people from defecting.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Plasticmonkey is totally right.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

plasticmonkey may be totally wrong, too. Their boat developed engine trouble and started drifting. They most likely didn't plan to defect.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Why should South Korea have to deal with them though? Why should South Korea have to deal with them though?

Because South Korea recognises all Koreans as South Korean citizens.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Serrano: that's what I said--they didn't plan to defect because their family members would end up in the gulag if they did

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@plasticmonkey: Or, they never planned to defect in any case. Not all North Koreans want to leave the country, if you can believe that.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Because South Korea recognises all Koreans as South Korean citizens.

Do they? Even American Koreans? News to me. Guess they are like Japan in this regard.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I think oginome is referring to NORTH Koreans. And South Korea has taken in 10's of thousands of them over the years.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My guess is out making a living to support their families. Of course they want to go back to their families.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do they? Even American Koreans? News to me.

I meant all the Koreans on the peninsula, tmarie. I'll make it clearer next time. It doesn't apply to ethnic Koreans outside of the North, In fact, there have been cases in recent years of ethnic Koreans born and raised in China, trying to pass themselves off as defectors, so they can get into the South and receive the $20,000 settlement defectors are entitled to.

Guess they are like Japan in this regard.

South Korea is even more homogenous than Japan. Alot more explicit racism there too.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

20,000? Damn. Why do the South Korean support this? I don't think the South would be too happy to reunite right now with their economy and problems. I get that they want to help defectors but I didn't think it was an automatic thing.

Have heard there is more racism but from my understanding, Japan is the most "homogenous" in terms of countries. Korea has a lot more in the mix from Russia, Mongolia and China in terms of bloodlines - again, based on what I have read/heard.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

South Korea is even more homogenous than Japan. Alot more explicit racism there too.

I've heard the same. A white mate of mine copped a lot of grief in South Korea because he had the hide to be walking along with his Japanese girlfriend. Locals didn't like it one bit!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Have heard there is more racism but from my understanding, Japan is the most "homogenous" in terms of countries. Korea has a lot more in the mix from Russia, Mongolia and China in terms of bloodlines - again, based on what I have read/heard.

@ tmarie - I think it is in terms of "registered foreigners" or something. South Korea is under 1 percent. Remember, Japan also has very,very mixed bloodlines from pretty much all over Asia. Not to menation Ainu and Ryukyuans. I think the term "homogenous ethnicity" in regards to a nation is pretty much a nonsense term nowadays, except if it was a tiny pacific island or something.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They want to go back to N. Korea because if they don't their family members will be severely punished. That's how the glorious system keeps people from defecting.

Correct. In known instances, relatives of defectors have been killed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

20,000? Damn. Why do the South Korean support this? I don't think the South would be too happy to reunite right now with their economy and problems. I get that they want to help defectors but I didn't think it was an automatic thing.

Neither Korea recognises the other's sovereignty, both consider themselves the sole political representative of the Korean peninsula, therefore both countries willingly accept any people who wish to defect from each country (but as you can probably guess, no South Korean yearns to live in the North). The defectors are housed in a resettlement centre/school for a month, where they are taught the basics of living in a modern, capitalist society, ie, how to use ATM, go shopping, etc. The $20,000 is supposed to help them settle in and give them a head start as they go about establishing themselves. No North Korean college degree or training is accepted outside the country, so many of the defectors, who are already educated, have to start all over again, and along with also having to find a place to live, that's why they're given the money. Unfortunately, many of them are taken advantage of by scumbags who encourage them to invest in thinly disguised pyramid schemes, and many lose the 20,000 very quickly. It's sad.

Have heard there is more racism but from my understanding, Japan is the most "homogenous" in terms of countries. Korea has a lot more in the mix from Russia, Mongolia and China in terms of bloodlines - again, based on what I have read/heard.

Well, even if the Koreans have more of a mix in their genetics, they still see themselves as racially different from the Chinese and Mongolians, just like the Japanese do. They call themselves the 'single race society' (Dan-il minjok guk ga). 99% of South Korea is made up of people with Korean ethnicity, whereas Japan is 98%. Negligible, I know, but even the foreigners in the country are mostly made up of ethnic Koreans from China. It's even more homogenous than Japan.

I've heard the same. A white mate of mine copped a lot of grief in South Korea because he had the hide to be walking along with his Japanese girlfriend. Locals didn't like it one bit!

Yep, I've heard of foreigners being attacked, just because they had the audacity to go out with a Korean girl.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"Some of the crew said that they were engaged in fishing when their boat developed engine trouble and started drifting. " You have to be real crazy to go fishing in the Sea of Japan in the winter months(rough seas) especially in such a small boat. I heard the boat was anchored and just waiting to be found. Send them all back home to North Korea if that's what they want.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That's no fishing boat sir, one might find its role better suited as a landing craft attached to a larger vessel.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Paulinusa:

" I think with time there's a good chance they will change their minds because they'll be given the chance to go to South Korea which is less of a culture shock. "

It is not so simple. If they have families in NK, then defection for them means concentration camp for their children. That is a big decision to make.

So don´t read too much into their wish to go back to NK. Not everybody is ready to sacrifice their families.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tmarie: Its not a case of South Korea 'wanting' 'to help' - Under South Koreans Constitution, anybody from the North, once they have been through security checks etc, is entitiled to South Korean citizenship, exactly the same conditions upon which West Germany had for East Germans if they made it over the border. In this case irrelevant, as they have stated a desire to go home. I suggest you read up a little on history.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

None of this makes any sense. How can you survive snow storms and winter seas for THREE WEEKS in a small open boat. There must be more to this than meets the eye, though I doubt they will be telling anyone the truth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cheers for the info!

I suggest you read up a little on history. Not really interested in Korean history... And no idea why the need for the snide comment.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

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