Full Page NYT Ad Denouncing the South Korean Government

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Bungled rescue efforts. Fabricated mainstream news coverage. Loss of 300 innocent lives. SK Government MUST take full responsibility of their man-made disaster!
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Suzanne Collins
Identity Verified
Email Verified
Politics
Los Angeles, California
United States
3 Team Members

We have launched a second campaign:  www.igg.me/at/sewolferryact

Your continued support is greatly appreciated!


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THANK YOU FOR THE INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF SUPPORT!  

Our ad got published in the NY Times on 5/11/2014. 

You can download the files here:

JPEG: http://www.thetruthofsewolferry.com/media_files/nyt_ad_design_final.jpg

PDF: http://www.thetruthofsewolferry.com/media_files/nyt_ad_design_final.pdf

With Korean Translation:  http://www.thetruthofsewolferry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/nyt_ad_design_final_korean_trans.jpg

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A Campaign to Raise Funds for a Full-Page NY Times Ad Seeking Justice in South Korea

We demand the South Korean government to stop the blame-game, take full responsibility, and bring justice and true democracy to South Korea

Why  the New York Times?

In the recent South Korean ferry tragedy, 302 passengers lost their lives or are still missing. While this event has raised specific concerns about the Park Administration’s disaster control efforts, it has also ignited outrage over a larger issue in South Korea; government censorship and the suppression of free speech. By placing an ad in the New York Times, we want the world to know the ugly truth in the current administration, and hope the ad would help start the conversation to bring changes in Korea.

The Sewol Ferry has sunk; so has the  Park Administration

President Park's pledge during her election campaign was to make safety the number one priority on her presidential agenda. Despite the huge emphasis on safety that the Park Administration had been pitching, they failed to create a central emergency response unit that can quickly manage a crisis through a streamlined communication system and assigned roles of various government entities.  This resulted in over five different government agencies referring to themselves as crisis management headquarters and creating confusion among those involved in the rescue. No manuals for emergency response were utilized by the government agencies. There were numerous chances to rescue children on the first day of the ferry accident; however, President Park failed to exercise her executive power and quickly organize a central emergency response unit in the days to follow. Such behavior contributed to more bungled rescue efforts by the Coast Guard and other agencies involved. What started as an "accident" by the irresponsible captain and his crew became a "man-made disaster" by the South Korean government's utter incompetence.

In the following days of the accident, the South Korean mainstream media started reporting that the government launched a massive rescue operation, including around 600 divers, 70 rescue vessels, and 29 airplanes. on the contrary, families of the missing ones witnessed that there was close to zero effort in rescuing any passengers during the first two days of the accident. Multiple eyewitnesses reported that there were only 4 divers, 6 rescue vessels, and zero helicopters at the search site. At the same time, South Korean mainstream news agencies were sending out misleading reports about the rescue efforts going on in Jindo.

On April 28th, during a debriefing that was broadcast live, a veteran from South Korean Navy's Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) exposed the fact that the minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries blocked civilian volunteer divers from entering the water. The video spread rapidly through social media and other Internet community websites. Oddly, the video is disappearing as fast as it draws more public attention.

Is the South Korean government using mainstream media as its mouthpiece? 

According to MediaToday’s exclusive coverage, the Korea Communications Commission (central broadcasting regulator) was instructed by the government to form a committee and screen and control media coverage of the ferry accident in collaboration with the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures headquarters. Earlier last week, JTBC’s main news program and its anchor were put under disciplinary action for "providing biased information" by interviewing an underwater rescue expert, Jong-in Lee, who had an opinion against the current administration’s direction on the rescue. 

We demand freedom of speech and the right to know, which are clearly protected under the South Korean constitution. This includes the freedom of press and the freedom to express. Through our ad in the New York Times, we attempt to be the voice of those who deserve their freedom and rights.

Regression of Democracy in South Korea

The  way that the Park Administration is handling the ferry tragedy -- with no answers, no transparency, and manipulation of the mainstream media -- demonstrates their true attitude toward democracy. The president's recent apology made during a congressional meeting lacked acknowledgement of the tragedy's status and did not include a tangible agenda to prevent similar tragedies going forward. Most saw it as mere window-dressing. 

Going beyond controlling its own mainstream media, a South Korean official stationed in Berlin, Germany recently contacted German-Korean journalist Ok-hee Jung of Die Zeit, pressuring her to make edits to her published article which contained a paragraph that was critical of President.  

Families of the lost ones testified that they were told the government will be managing their social media accounts and delete any posts that could be controversial. 

We fear that democracy in South Korea is regressing. 

Our ad in the New York Times will demand accountability from the Park Geun-hye Administration. The South Korean government must know that oppression of free speech and abuse of government authority will not be tolerated or overlooked by the rest of the world.

For more background information, please read "10 things you need to know" in the bottom of this page.

What We Need 

  • We need about $58,273 ($52,030 to place the ad and $6,243 in transaction fees) to post advertisement in the New York Times. We have volunteers working on planning, designing, copywriting, PR and marketing. On top of this pro-bono effort, we need to fund the advertisement itself. We invite YOU, who are concerned about the current situation in South Korea, and those who are outraged, saddened, and eager to help by participating in this movement.
  • We are using the form of crowdfunding to raise funds for our ad. Many great minds agreed with the idea and showed support through social media outlets. So many are eager to participate and this campaign will show just how many are paying attention to this matter. Our campaign is your campaign. It will serve as an evidence of collected will-power and existence of social-capital by populace. 
  • If we don’t reach our goal, we will donate the funds raised to independent South Korean news agencies fighting for freedom of speech in Korea. These agencies include (but are not limited to), Gobal News, FactTV, and News K.  Those living in the United States or countries other than Korea have better exposure to the independent news reports as our main source of information is the Internet. We will show our appreciation of true journalism by supporting these independent news agencies.
  • In order to maintain transparency, we will take screenshots of the funds that came in to our Paypal account and release it to the funders in the Updates page. Once we have made transactions with the NY Times and other news agencies, we will take screenshots of the transactions and upload it in the Updates page. When the campaign is over and all our funds have been dispersed by Indiegogo, we will upload the csv file that contains dates and amounts of contributions as well as transactions made to other news agencies (no emails to protect privacy). We are determined to maintain transparency so your contributions will not go to waste.

*** Update:  Now that we have exceeded our goal, we will cast an open vote on what to do with the excess funds. We have received a lot of opinions on the following two options:

1. Place another ad in a different major U.S. newspaper (i.e. The Washington Post) or Korean-American newspapers

2. Donate to the independent Korean news agencies mentioned above.

Once the campaign ends and we receive full amounts net of any fees, we will post a link so our supporters can  vote on what to do with the excess funds.  Thank you.


Other Ways to Get Involved

For those who want to get involved in our campaign in other forms:

  • Please spread the word. Words can travel farther than you think, and you can encourage others to join us by sharing the campaign on your social network. It is easy to share. Just click on the buttons below, log in with your profile, and click ‘Share’. 


*** PLEASE KNOW THAT THIS IS AND WILL BE THE ONLY CAMPAIGN WE WILL BE RUNNING ON INDIEGOGO. WE DO NOT AND WILL NOT RUN OUR CAMPAIGN ON ANY OTHER CROWDFUNDING WEBSITES. PLEASE WATCH OUT FOR SCAMMERS USING OUR CONTENTS AND NAMES TO CREATE A FAKE CAMPAIGN.******



세월호참사로 드러난 거꾸로 가는 한국민주주의 NY Times 광고로 고발

왜 뉴욕타임즈광고인가?

공공연한 언론통제와 발언의 자유 억제에도 불구하고 대부분의 한국민들은 사실을 은폐 왜곡보도하는 주요방송과 대형일간지들에의해 진실을 보지못하고 있다. 소규모의 인터넷매체에서 독립적인 취재와 보도를 하고있지만 그 영향력에는 한계가 있다. 우리는 미국에 살고있는 한국인으로서 뉴욕타임즈 광고를 통해 세월호 침몰로 드러난 현정부의 언론탄압과 반민주주의 행보를 규탄하고자 한다. 

전세계가 관심을 가지고 함께 아파하고 있는 세월호 참사 12일 만에 대한민국 대통령은 국무회의 도중 국민에 대한 사과문을 발표했다. 늦어도 너무나 늦은 사과에 여론은 냉담하기만 하다. 같은날, 박근혜 대통령은 희생자를 조문한 자리에서 그 유족들에게 사과 한마디 하지않고 떠나 그들에게 또한번 실망을 안겨주었다.

세월호 침몰에서 한국언론의 침몰을 보다

이번 세월호 참사는 1987년 이후 발전해온 민주주의가 퇴보하고 있음을 보여주는 가장 단적인 예다. 세월호 침몰이후 정부는 나태와 무능한 구조대책으로 침몰한 배를 탔던 302명의 생명 중 단 한명도 구해내지 못했다. 더 큰 문제는 계속되는 거짓브리핑과 언론통제다.  주요언론들은 70척의 장비와  600여 명의 잠수부를 동원해 구조에 총력을 기울이는 것으로  보도했지만 사실상 현지에는  6척의 배와 서너명의 잠수부만이 구조를하고 있었다고 희생자 가족들은 증언한다. ‘당신이 대통령이어서는 안되는 이유’라는 제목으로 올려진 청와대 게시판글은 이미 지워지고없지만 SNS를 통해 불같이 번져나가고 있다.  안행부장관의 방문으로 출항하던 구조대가 회항을한 사실을 폭로한 예비군 중대장의 양심선언 역시 주요언론에서 삭제되었지만 해외 계정 유툽을 통해 동영상이 빠르게 퍼져나가고 있다. 다이빙 벨을 이용한 해양구조 전문가 이종인씨를 인터뷰를한 JTBC 손석희 앵커는 방송통신위원회에의해 중징계 위기에 처해있다. 언론통제는 국내언론인뿐만 아니라 해외 교포 언론인에게도 행해졌다. 독일 Die Zeit 신문에 세월호 관련기사를 쓴 정옥희씨게는 일부 문구를 삭제해달라는 한국 대사관의 요구까지 있었다. 그 문구가 박근혜 대통령에게  부정적이미지를 줄 수 있다는 이유였다. 현재 옥희정씨는 변호사를 고용해 소송을 준비 중에 있다.

정부가 직접 방송조정통제 지시해

언론 자유 인덱스에 의하면 한국의 언론자유는 세계 57위, 이명박 정권 당시 언론자유국에서 부분적 언론자유국으로 강등된 뒤 계속 그 순위가 떨어지고 있다. 한국의  GDP가 세계  12위인 것을 감안하면 이런 불균형적 숫자들이 보여주는 경제와 민주화의 부조화를 읽을 수 있다. 사회적 약자들은 기본권인 생존권도 보호받지 못하며 억울함을 당해도 언론의 비호조차 받지 못하고 있다.

방송통신위원회가 세월호 대책본부에 ‘언론조정통제’를 주문한 공문서가 미디어‘오늘’에 의해 공개되었다. 설마설마하던 의혹이 진실로 현실로 문건으로 드러나고 희생자 가족의 분노와 항의는 이제 모두의 가슴에 들불처럼 번져 피로 눈물로 값지게 얻은 한국의 민주주의가 박근혜 정권에 의해 거꾸로 가는 뒷모습에 원통해하고 있다.  

언론이 국민이 아닌 정부의 대변자로 전락한 한국에선 소셜캐피탈이 축소되고 시민사회영역이 줄어드는 현상이 심화되고 있다. 정부가 그 어떤 반민주적인 탄압을 해도주요언론들이 그것을 비판하지 않고 옹호하기에 급급한 한국사회에서 정의는 뿌리를 내리지 못하고 민주주의는 거꾸로 가고있다.  세월호의 침몰은 대한민국 민주주의의 침몰과 오버랩되며 우리는 더 이상의 한국 민주주의 퇴보를 묵과하지 않을 것이다.


우리가 필요로 하는것 

  • 뉴욕 타임즈 광고를 위해 총 $58,273 (광고비 $52,030, 인디고고 및 페이팔수수료 $6,243)이 필요합니다. 광고기획, 광고 디자인, 광고 문구, 광고게제 협상, 홍보 마케팅 이 모든 것들은 자진해서 나서준 자원봉사자들에 의해 진행되고 있습니다. 우리는 이 모든 제작비용을 제외하고 뉴욕타임즈 쪽에 내야할 광고비를 모금하고자 합니다. 많은 분들이 우는 것 외에는 할 수 있는 것이 없다고 무기력해 합니다. 저희는 작지만 억울하게 생존권을 보호받지 못한 희생자와 자식을 잃은 부모님들 그리고 집단무기력증에 빠져있는 대한민국의 시민들을 위한 작은 동참을 촉구합니다.
  • 우리는 크라우드 펀딩을 통해 아직 대한민국 국민의 시민정신이 살아있음을 정부가 마땅히 견제해야할 소셜 캐피탈(사회적 자본)을 가지고 있음을 확인하고 싶습니다. 물적 자본이 사회적 자본을 농락할 수 있다는 사고를 비웃고 당당히 이 나라에 시민사회영역이 살아있음을 보여주고자 합니다.
  • 만일 펀드레이징이 실패하거나 필요한 광고비보다 더 많은 돈이 모인다면 저희를 일깨워준 양심언론들에 전액 기부로 후원하겠습니다.
  • 처음 알려준것과 달리 뉴욕타임즈에서 다시 페이팔을 안받는다고 합니다. 그래서 광고비용은 부득이하게 페이팔로 모아진 성금을 은행 어카운트로 옮긴다음 체크카드를 이용해 지불할 것입니다. 크레딧카드로 모아진 성금은 인디고고가 캠페인 끝날때까지 보관을 하기 때문에 저희가 볼 방법은 없습니다만 페이팔로 들어오는 금액은 캠페인이 끝난뒤 스크린샷을 해서 갤러리에 올리겠습니다. 뉴욕타임즈나 다른 언론사로 돈을 보낼때에도 내역을 올려드려 모든 분들께서 후워해주신 소중한 성금이 헛되이 써지지 않았다는것을 증명해드리겠습니다.

    *** 업데이트: 저희 모금이 목표금액보다 더 많이 들어온 관계로 업데이트 해드리겠습니다. 그동안 가장 많이 올라온 의견은 다음과 같습니다:

    1. 다른 미국내 주요 신문에 광고를 내거나 미국내 한국신문에 광고를 낸다

    2. 위에 언급한 양심언론들에 기부를 한다

    캠페인이 끝나고 인디고고측으로부터 수수료를 뗀 금액을 받는대로 후원자님들의 투표를 통해 결정하겠습니다.

    다른 방법으로 동참을 원하시는 분들께:

      • 페이스북, 트위터 등 SNS를 통해 이 캠페인을 널리 알려주십시오. 기부를 하는 것만이 동참은 아닙니다. 저희 캠페인은 지지하고 응원하는 마음 또한 커다한 참여입니다. 부디 주변사람들에게 가능한한 많이 이 캠페인을 퍼뜨려 주시기 바랍니다. 
      동참하는 방법은 간단합니다. 로그인하신 후 위에 있는 Share 버튼을 눌러주시면 됩니다. 


    *** 알려드립니다. 저희 캠페인은 이것 하나이며 앞으로도 이것 하나일것입니다. 인디고고 외의 다른 크라우드펀딩 웹싸이트에 저희 컨텐츠와 이름을 도용해 사기를 치는 사기꾼들이 있다는 점을 아시고 절대 그런 사기꾼들의 농락에 넘어가지 마시기 바랍니다. 인디고고에 올라오는 캠페인은 이것 하나 뿐입니다. 감사합니다. ****

    ***광고가 나간 직 후 집권 여당은 곧바로 광고액 모금에 참여한 4천 여명을 일부 불순 종북세력으로 규정했습니다. 세월호 참사를 정치적으로 이용한다며 비난했습니다. 저희에게 들어오는 많은 인터뷰 요청 가운데 자주 등장하는 질문이기도 해서 

    이에대한 답변을 올립니다. 앞으로 매체에서는 이 답변을 참고하시고 더이상 인터뷰 요청은 자제해 주시기를 부탁드립니다.***


    첫째, 이 캠페인에 참여한 교포들은 북한 정권의 독재적 세습정치를 매우 혐오합니다. 적화통일이 된다면 북한 최대의 적인 미국의 교포들에게는 돌아갈 나라도 없어집니다.

    둘째, 이 캠페인은 참사를 대하는 정부의 비민주적 언론통제를 규탄하고 있습니다    정권을 포기하라는 것도 아니고 체제를 뒤엎자는 것도 아닌데 정치적이라니요? 사실을 있는 그대로 밝히고 시정하라는 외침을 비난하는 것은 그 정당이 얼마나 권위주의적이고 듣고싶은 말만 듣겠다는 비민주적 정치를 하는 집단인 지 보여줍니다.

    셋째, 오히려 집권여당이 이 캠페인을 정치적으로 이용하고 있습니다. 종북좌파로 몰아 국가전복을 선동한다는 정치적 프레임을 씌워 보수들의 단결을 촉구하고 있습니다.

    현재 방송 기자들도 보도의 편파를 사과하며 한국 내 언론통제를 고발하고 있습니다. 세월호 참사 후 책임은 없고 조작만 있는 정부의 처사가 주요언론에 의해 비판은 커녕 보호받는 현실, 이것은 분명 한국 민주주의 퇴보의 단적인 증거입니다. 그것을 비판하려니 국내 언론장악으로 창구가 막힌 상태라 해외언론을 통하게 되었습니다. 국내 독립언론들이 비판 목소리를 내고 있지만 정작 듣고 현실을 알아야 할 사람들은 그런 의견을 접하기 어려운 현실을 감안했구요. 

    주요언론 장악을 통해 정권을 강화하고 국민을 경시하는 비민주적 관행이야말로 대한민국의 수치며 대외적 규탄을 통해서라도 왜곡된 권력확대를 저지하고자 한 것이 기본 취지입니다. 언론이 살아있어야 관피아 척결, 정경유착 고발도 제대로 할 수 있고 그래야 제 2의 세월호 참사도 막을 수 있다고 생각했습니다.

    많은 분들이 사실을 알고도 무기력한 것을 더 괴로워했습니다. 작은 실천이지만 4천 명이 한 뜻을 모아 대한민국이 인간을 존중하고 국민의 행복을 추구하는 민주적이고 건강한 나라가 되기를 희망하며 캠페인에 참여했습니다. 무엇보다 그렇게 아이를 보낸 유가족의 아픈 마음에 위로가 되고 그분들을 대신해 할 말을 해야겠다는 의지가 있었습니다. 광고가 나간 후 다행히 유가족분들께서 기뻐하셨다고 성금을 모아주는 것보다 훨씬 더 고마워하셨다는 말을 전해듣고 저희들 모두 감사했습니다.

    NYT 광고는 박근혜 대통령 하야를 주장한것도 아니고 세월호 참사를 통해 일어난 사실만을 썼습니다. 정부의 무능력한 대응도 유가족 위로 동영상의 허구성도 모두 사실이었으며 언론통제와 조정이 현실로 드러났습니다. 그런데 그걸 비판하는것이 왜 정치적인 지 알 수가 없습니다. 이런 모든 비민주적인 행태를 비판하고 정부에게 변화를 촉구하는것은 국민의 권리이자 의무인데 그것이 뭐가 잘못되었는 지. 정부가 하는일을 무조건 찬양하라는 거야 말로 북한의 이데올로기가 아닐 수 없습니다. 저희들이 아마 부시를 마음껏 욕하고 오바마를 공개적으로 비난해도 아무 문제가 없는 사회에 살아서 그런가봅니다. 근거 없는 종북좌파 매도 발언은 명명백백히 드러난 언론탄압의 증거에도 아랑곳하지 않고 끊임없이 여론을 호도하려는 무책임하고 구태의연한 집권 여당의 정치적 플레이일 뿐입니다. 진보를 비판하면 애국이고 보수를 비판하면 종북이라는 초등수준의 논리입니다.

    한술 더 떠 미주한인회 총연합회에서 세월호 광고가 거짓이라는 성명서를 낸다고 합니다. 세월호 광고 내용이 사실이라는 점은 뉴욕타임즈에서 이미 검증과 확인을 끝냈습니다. 뉴욕 타임즈 광고에 사실이 아닌 내용은 실을 수가 없습니다. 무엇이 거짓인 지 몸은 멀리 있지만 마음이 가까이 있다면 볼 수있습니다. 그들의 마음이 정권에 가까이 있는 지 국민에 가까이 있는 지 여기 4천 명이 지켜보고 있습니다.

    10 things you need to know:

    #1: The captain and his crew who abandoned ship after making an announcement for everyone to stay put are at fault for causing the accident. There's no question about this. The real question is, who is responsible for the deaths of almost 300 people following the accident?

    #2:  The Korean government did not have an effective central command unit in charge of emergency response at the time of the accident. They also did not have a practical manual or strategic plans in place that could have been utilized immediately after the accident. The whole disaster relief system was broken, which caused bungled rescue efforts in the first few of days since the ferry capsized. The government wasted its opportunity to save lives as the real rescue efforts did not start for nearly four days.  

    #3: The rescue efforts were stymied due to inclement weather and strong currents at the accident site, or at least that's what the media/government kept emphasizing. South Korea has the world's best Navy (or so they claim), which has specialized units of trained men who can be called for mission at situations like this. The Ship Salvage Unit (SSU) of the Navy is trained to dive into the worst possible environment and successfully accomplish any given mission. Of all their record-breaking missions, the latest one was in December of 2012, when SSU divers had to salvage the remains of North Korean rocket Eunha3 from 88 meters underwater in the Yellow Sea. They successfully retrieved the engine and fuel tank of the rocket.  Why didn't the Korean government call the SSU or UDT (Underwater Demolition Team) to join the rescue on day 2 or day 3 after the accident? The ferry was only 34 meters underwater and the temperature was higher than in December. Instead, the government put the Coast Guard in charge of the rescue operation and proved its incompetence once again. The Navy's SSU  and UDT were not called until several days have passed, which by then was too late.

    [Sources:  http://blue-paper.tistory.com/1181  and http://news.hankooki.com/lpage/politics/201301/h2013010609041821000.htm ]  

    #4:  Korean mainstream broadcasting companies (KBS 1&2, MBC, and EBS) are state-owned. Then there is the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), which oversees the contents released by all media companies, including the ones commercially owned. Historically, chairmen of KCC have been members of the Grand National Party appointed by the president, and they have power to suspend programs or people running programs that air contents of which KCC would determine as "inappropriate." Here's the problem: state-owned mainstream media and the KCC, which is not an independent agency but a subordinate organization of the Blue House, naturally creates an environment that allows the President and the government to exercise their power over the press. Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media were uniformly reporting the same stories and showing same footage following the ferry accident. These broadcasting companies focused their coverage on the captain and his crew, neglecting to question the reasons behind failed rescue operations and the responsibilities of the government. Only the independent news agencies (typically those online) questioned what the government has really done to save lives. These independent news agencies also had interviewed with the families of the victims and aired it online without making any edits so the public can see what the families are really going through. The families were distraught by the slow rescue operation, unsupportive government, and fabricated mainstream news coverage about the rescue efforts. Korean mainstream media serves as the government's mouthpiece and can longer be a watchdog for the public. Sadly, majority of the public turn to mainstream media for news and are being blinded from the truth.

    #5:  The above point on government-controlled media is backed by the fact that a Korean embassy consulate Yoon Jong Suk stationed in Berlin tracked down and contacted German-Korean journalist Jung Ok Hee who wrote a piece on Die Zeit about the SK Ferry disaster. Mr. Yoon pressured Ms. Jung to make edits to her published article as it contains a paragraph criticizing President Park's behavior following the accident. Ms. Jung was furious that a Korean government official is demanding such a thing when she is not even a Korean citizen. She is currently talking to her lawyer about this. This incident portrays how the current Korean government thinks of journalists and the press. They think it's easy to control the media as long as they're "Korean".

    [Sources: 

    1. http://www.berlinreport.com/bbs/board.php?bo_table=free&wr_id=85677 <-- the first comment is written by Ms. Jung's acquaintance who was asked by Ms. Jung to share this on the website. Ms. Jung also posted on her own Facebook page about this.
    2. http://bbs1.agora.media.daum.net/gaia/do/debate/read?bbsId=D101&articleId=4722252  <-- the translated article posted on Daum Agora website
    3. http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2014-04/suedkorea-faehre-schiff-unglueck-angehoerige-aerger  <-- Ms. Jung's article on Die Zeit

    #6: Two days after the accident, Journalist Son Suk Hee at JTBC, who runs News 9, invited a deep-sea diving expert Lee Jong-In as a guest speaker on his program. Mr. Lee talked about an equipment called a diving bell that could be used underwater for rescue even in tough sea environment with strong current as is in Jindo. After the  interview was aired, the public started asking why the government is not using said equipment, that they should at least try anything in their power to enhance the rescue efforts.  Mr. Lee even contacted the government several times and offered that he would provide the diving bell, divers, and all the equipment needed to help with the rescue. He was turned down each time.  Journalist Son Suk Hee was then put under investigation by the KCC for "spreading inaccurate information and causing confusion to the public." 

    [Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5BgOJ-XNLY  and  http://news1.kr/articles/1644131 ]

    #7:  Families of the lost ones were sickened by the mainstream media of ㅣreleasing disingenuous stories about the rescue efforts (i.e. news reports claiming that the rescue efforts with over 150 boats and 500 divers at the accident site have begun was released BEFORE the rescue operation had even started. When families at the port went to see it for themselves, there were only 6 boats and a few divers at the accident site not performing rescue operation due to the lack of equipment needed for the rescue).  Parents of the missing children started using Twitter and Facebook to let others know about the truth, but their posts were deleted by the government. They were told by government officials that their posts will be "examined by the experts."  Apparently, South Korean government monitors private Facebook and Twitter accounts of these poor parents who lost their children, and blocks them from writing posts about what's really going on. Freedom of speech, right to know, and freedom of press all went out the window. 

    [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2ReRF5-ybM] <-- this video was deleted many times when people in Korea uploaded on Youtube/Facebook. Someone outside of Korea uploaded again hopefully it won't get deleted again. The woman in this footage is a mother of one of the missing students. She is saying that the mainstream media is making stuff up and adding false information to their news coverage. She took a fishing boat and went out to the accident scene on 4/17. What she saw was how the divers did not have sufficient equipment needed for the rescue and they would swim back up to the surface right away after diving.  <Translation of her words after the aforementioned comments> "Civilian divers came and demanded that they go in to help, but the government did not authorize it. However, the mainstream media is reporting that the civilian divers joined the rescue team to help with the effort, that the government has okay-ed it. The first day of the accident, there was no rescuing effort whatsoever due to the false report saying everyone was rescued. The weather was fine that day. They could have saved 80% of those now trapped in the Ferry. The second day, we realized that it was a false report and we all demanded that they go rescue our children right away. The officials kept blaming the weather saying it's impossible.

    The mainstream news is now saying that a diver successfully went inside the ferry near the cafeteria. We have parents out there on the boat seeing with their own eyes what's happening. We talk to them over the phone all day to get information. They're saying that the diver didn't even reach the ferry, and there was no air pump connected yet. But the media reported that the diver successfully got inside and pumping the air! The parents at the accident site are saying that they're now just preparing to dive in and attempt to connect the hose for air pump.  

    The whole country is watching the mainstream media, including President Park. They don't know that they are being lied to! We asked that we talk to President Park. We were told that if she comes to Jindo again, all the rescue efforts will be stopped for several hours like it did yesterday and our children might die. So we requested that they just let us talk to her over the phone so we can tell her that the reports she's receiving are entirely false. 

    The government officials that we are talking to are not even trying to call higher authorities. No one is helping us and they're just wasting time! Why can't they call someone? Why is no one helping? How can you call that a President? 

    She came yesterday and had an interview and then what? Nothing! We don't need apologies, we don't need the reports of how many are missing -- we already know that even that information is inaccurate. If the government officials can't even understand how us parents feel, how can they work for Korean people?

    I can't trust the media. We're all posting on our Facebook real time images and information so the word can spread. All our Facebook posts are being deleted right away! Within 2 seconds! I don't know who's doing it, who's blocking it but it's gone. I can't trust the media.  

    [the man next to her jumps in and says "we were told that our facebook posts will be run by the "experts" and censored. Why are they doing that? it's our private accounts, private life. How can they do that?"  

    I understand that it's hard to dive in. I was out there in the sea on a boat and saw the waves. I understand that since the Coast Guard doesn't have enough equipment needed for deep diving, they can't go in to the rescue. But then, why aren't they allowing civilian divers who came with all the equipment that they would need to join the rescue ? Why are they waiting around for an authorization from the higher ups?? Our kids are dying!! Why do they care so much about the system and getting permission and all that right now, when they don't even have the ability to manage this situation? 

    #8:  Experts (professors of Nautical/Marine Science at top Korean universities) who were actively interviewed and cited by various online news outlets all stopped taking interview requests in the week following the accident. An anonymous professor told a reporter at Nocutnews that he received a lot of pressure from intelligence agencies (i.e. National Intelligence Service) to stop talking to the media, especially if what he would say could hurt the image of the current administration. Again, freedom of speech, freedom of press, right to know taken away.  [Source: http://www.nocutnews.co.kr/news/4011536]

    #9: After a week has passed since the accident happened, the "rescue" efforts have become more active and divers were retrieving double digit numbers of dead bodies every day. Did the current at the accident site magically got weaker than the week of the accident? No. Did the visibility underwater has magically became clearer? No. The environment at the accident site is not far from how it was in the first week, but for some reason the Coast Guard could dive in and retrieve the bodies, nonstop and around the clock. Why then did they not do this in the first week? Why did they let time pass and let the 300 innocent children drown to death? Didn't they say that they had only 2 hours of window when the current becomes less strong in the first week? How are they diving in at any given time of the day a week later?

    #10:  Dead bodies of the students retrieved during the second week following the accident were surprisingly clean and recognizable. Families of the students were convinced that the children were alive for several days before losing their lives. French news outlets have aired the footage of the dead bodies, and the hands and feet of the dead students looked nothing like the ones that belong to someone who had drowned in water for over a week.

    [Source: http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/pacifique/naufrage-en-coree-du-sud/video-naufrage-en-coree-du-sud-trois-premiers-corps-ont-ete-remontes_581405.html]


     We believe that the South Korean government is ultimately responsible for elevating what was a dangerous accident into a tragic national disaster. We believe that most of the missing or dead children could have been saved had the government agencies acted more efficiently and swiftly together, or had the President exercised her executive power to appoint the right people in charge immediately following the accident. Instead, the government exercised its power to hide the truth from the public by controlling the media and manipulating public sentiment. 




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