Sino-Korean-German Press Review: Boundless Antipathy

The Empire of Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945. As every schoolkid knows, the defeat of Japan, and the liberation of much of Asia, was invented in China. And on days like these, the Chinese press has a few demands on Japan:

Japan mustn’t go too far in provoking China. Japanese officials should think twice before uttering provocative words. In modern history, all the conflicts between China and Japan were caused by Japanese invasion. Japan has no right to attack China bitterly as it does today. The Chinese public has boundless antipathy toward Japan.

Global Times (English ed.), Aug 27, 2012
H/t to Peking Duck

And for those dear readers who get no satisfaction from the milksops at the Global Times and their pussyfooting editorials, here is how the North Korean Worker’s Party celebrates its great victory (the Japanese surrender was also invented in North Korea, as every North Korean schoolkid knows):

All facts urgently require all the youth and students in the north and the south to pool their spirit of national independence, patriotism, wisdom and strength to force Japan to settle its past crimes and take the lead in the actions for checking its militarist moves for reinvasion.

Inheriting the indomitable spirit of independence and patriotic enthusiasm of the passionate anti-Japanese martyrs, we will take the lead in the actions to force Japan to make reparation for its past crimes at any cost and decisively frustrate its militarist moves for reinvasion.

KCNA (Japan), August 29, 2012

Voice of Korea website, September 2, 2012

Voice of Korea website, September 2, 2012

On International Affairs, the Voice of Korea (VoK)  informs its listeners / readers about Japanese imperialists, blood-thirsty murderers – see picture above. The link doesn’t open (most links on VoK’s website don’t, and may require software downloadable from there), but from Pyongyang’s perpective, it probably doesn’t matter if we live in 1945, or in 2012.

Meantime, Kim Jong-nam is – or was – in Tehran, representing North Korea as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Iran, who took the NAM chairmanship during the summit last week, had actually invited Kim Jong-un, who – “only” – sent North Korea’s parliament president, his namesake Kim Jong-nam., German (right-leaning) daily Die Welt wrote six days ago.

Die Welt knows everything about North Korea and Iran, of course, and had a retired  German defense bureaucrat explain how the two countries might be building a nuclear bomb together – see second half of that post. But they don’t seem to know who Kim Jong-nam is (Kim Jong-il’s eldest son and therefore Kim Jong-un’s elder brother, who hasn’t played a role in North Korea’s Worker’s Party since he tried to enter Japan’s Disneyland using a fake passport).

Anyway – who cares. They are all rogues, are they not?

I’m realizing that I’m growing older. The NAM wasn’t very powerful, and its prestige limited (überschaubar), wrote Die Welt in its article last week. They probably weren’t terribly fond of UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon‘s attendance at the NAM summit.

Which makes me wonder. Iran may not enjoy a great reputation even among the NAM states, but it is hardly outlawed (geächtet), as Die Welt suggests.

Boundless antipathy appears to justify all kinds of historical misrepresentations, be it in China, North Korea, or Germany. The world is becoming smaller, and its media are moving closer together – in their methodology, not in their ideological positions, of course.

Even when I was a child, the NAM was mentioned on the news in Germany every once in a while, and members such as India, Indonesia, and Egypt made – and make – it a movement with quite some prestige.

That hasn’t really changed. But maybe some of Germany’s press has become, umm,  bush-league during the 1990s.

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