Fishing campaign propaganda mocked by residents

Choi Song Min  |  2016-12-01 14:50
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Some North Korean residents are said to be mocking Kim Jong Un's emphasis on "fish abundance," while others are criticizing the state propaganda attributing the countrys fishing successes to its leader.

"These days, considerable volumes of sailfin sandfish are being caught in the northern waters of the East Sea as is usual this time of year, but the state media is suddenly claiming it as possible because of the 'leader's profound love for the people,' and that it is a 'new legend of fishing history.' This is leaving the residents perplexed," a source in North Hamgyong Province noted on November 28.

According to the source, residents are also pointing out that, unlike the Rodong Sinmun's claims, the capture of approximately 90,000 fish in 20 days is not a "miracle" but somewhat normal given the weather.

"The abundant fish catch was possible due to the proper temperature of the seawater for sailfin sandfish this year. It is becoming an item of mockery for residents that the state is publicizing the natural turn of events as if its the accomplishment of the leader," the source explained.

Many residents are sarcastically saying that Kim Jong Un has "summoned the sailfin sandfish from the sea, and the market vendors are now calling sailfin sandfish "'golden fish,' in mockery of the propaganda term 'golden year,'" the source said.

Some argue that Kim Jong Un's visits to the fisheries stations of the Korean People's Army on January 8, May 27, and August 25 were part of a pre-planned script to tout successes in the fishing industry as his own achievements. 

A source in South Hamgyong Province added that the state only supplies proper vessels, diesel, and equipment to the few units that are subject to site visits and/or key outfits involved in foreign-currency earning for the regime. 

Ordinary fishing operations have been completely abandoned, he said. The state merely emphasizes that they should press on in the spirit of self-help without provisions, as usual.

On the East Sea coast, sailfin sandfish are normally captured in November every year. But the authorities are not providing the harvested fish to residents, save for propaganda purposes to limited areas of the floodstricken northeastern regions. The male fish are supplied to military bases and the female fish are all exported to China.

"Residents of the seaside villages and the fishermen are doing manual fishing with small boats in minor waterways around mountains or large rock formations. Only the sandfish caught this way are traded in the market. Intermediaries are actively buying female sandfish at the seaside, paying 1,000 KPW per fish," he concluded.

*Translated by Yejie Kim
*Edited by Lee Farrand

 
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