Two weeks ago, North Korea began to spread its online propaganda campaign by starting a Twitter account. Ten communistic messages have been posted so far under the name “uriminzok”, which means “our people” in Korean. Most of the messages linked to anti-South Korea and anti-US statements on the official website of the North Korean assembly for propaganda regime.
A screenshot of the first North Korean Twitter page.
Then, the South Korean government has asked domestic Internet service providers (KT, Hanaro, etc.) to block Korean access to this Twitter account due to national security. The decision was made Tuesday to stem the rapid increase of subscriptions by South Koreans.
Last month, North Korea created its own YouTube channel, uploading video clips that praises Kim Jong-il and defends itself against allegations over the sinking of a battleship near the inter-Korean maritime border which happened in July. Considering these incidents, we assume that the North Korean government – one of the most reclusive countries in the world – is trying to step up its propaganda works by using social media.
For now, a warning page pops up when an attempting to access http://twitter.com/uriminzok. A similar page shows up if one tries to enter Web pages showing North Korea‘s propaganda material. The block regards as a confirmation that South Korean government considers this Twitter page as being directly related to the Kim Jong-il regime.
Yesterday, the South Korean government announced that its citizens cannot access this Twitter page unless this webpage gain government clearance. Not only that, it may be considered illegal to communicate with the North Korean Twitter account (e.g. following, retweeting).
Nevertheless, according to Joong-ang Daily, the number of followers is quickly increasing from all over the world and has surpassed more than 1,400 as it draws increasing global media attention. Koreans, who study or live abroad like me, can easily access North Korean websites filled with propaganda messages, which could be the serious national security issue in the future. Thus, considering the massive influence of Twitter among young people, the South Korean government should try harder to regulate this uncontrollable phenomenon.