From www.kimandrewelliott.com

North Korea's idea of social networking: 10,413 followers, following zero.

Posted: 28 Aug 2010

The Korea Herald, 25 August 2010, Shin Hae-in: South Korean conservatives "emphasize the need for the government to come up with active countermeasures to Pyongyang’s cyber terrorism, which is anticipated to grow into a larger threat as the reclusive state becomes more familiar with information technologies. North Korea is believed to operate an elite team of hackers. This team reportedly attacked websites of South Korean and U.S. government agencies and businesses last year. But others here say the government is overreacting. 'I actually think this is an interesting issue. I want to welcome North Korea on Twitter,' said Roh Hoi-chan, a lawmaker of the left-leaning New Progressive Party and an active micro-blogger himself. 'It is impossible to unilaterally promote oneself in Twitter. I am actually surprised our government feels threatened by this.'" -- It appears that hacking has been lumped together with social networking. And North Korea's idea of social networking is evidenced by twitter.com/uriminzok, which has 10,413 followers, but follows zero other Twitter users.

Internet Evolution, 24 August 2010, Nicole Ferraro: "[I]t's more than just a little silly to assume that the 'powers of the Web' are literally strong enough to push a regime like North Korea to change its ways. For all of the ways that the Web can become a force for good, an equalizer, it can also be used as a tool for keeping citizens down, and for spreading propaganda, particularly when people aren't given access to the same tools as their oppressive leaders."

Radio Netherlands, 26 August 2010, Andy Sennitt: "All the 'North Korean' websites ... are actually hosted on servers located in other countries. It's quite common for websites to use servers outside their country of registration, but it makes it difficult to find out who's really behind these sites. ... Whoever is behind these initiatives seems to have good contacts with Pyongyang, as the short video of Jimmy Carter appears to be an item from the TV news, and was uploaded very quickly after the event. Of course, as North Korean TV is now available on satellite, it could have been recorded from a satellite feed. Further monitoring of the YouTube channel may make it clearer exactly what is going on. All this online activity makes the Voice of Korea, formerly known as Radio Pyongyang, sound very old-fashioned, not helped by the atrocious audio quality of the shortwave service. I rarely listen to it, but I would be very surprised if the Voice of Korea makes even a passing reference in its broadcasts to YouTube and Twitter." See previous post about same subject.

Foreign Policy, 26 August 2010, Joshua E. Keating: "Strangely, the .kp domain is overseen by an organization headquartered in Germany. Fiber-optic cables have reportedly been laid into North Korea from China, so someone in the country is getting broadband. This access is most likely limited to the Foreign Ministry, which is charged with monitoring the outside world, and Kim Jong Il's inner circle. The Dear Leader himself is reportedly an avid web surfer -- he once asked U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for her email address -- and describes himself as an 'Internet expert.'"

And as a testament to the value of cultural exchange (though, in this case, not sanctioned by Pyongyang), see the YouTube video North Korean People's Army Funky Get Down Juche Party.

Copyright 2006–2017 Kim Andrew Elliott.