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Posted : 2010-08-16 19:57
Updated : 2010-08-16 19:57

North Korea uses Twitter for propaganda


A screenshot of the North Korean Twitter account, Monday / Korea Times file

By Lee Tae-hoon

North Korea, one of the world’s most reclusive countries, has begun to step up its online propaganda campaign by starting its own Twitter account.

As of Monday afternoon, nine messages had been posted on the North’s micro-blogging site, which opened last Thursday under the name uriminzok, which can be translated into “our people.”

Most of the messages have links to anti-South Korea and anti-US statements on the communist regime’s official website www.uriminzokkiri.com.

However, those living in South Korea cannot access the postings on www.uriminzokkiri.com as Seoul has banned websites considered sympathetic to Pyongyang by blocking IP addresses.

Nevertheless, the number of followers of its Twitter account is quickly increasing and has surpassed more than 1,300 as it draws increasing media attention.

Twitter provides a platform for users to send and read texts up to 140 characters long, known as “tweets.” Subscribers, or "followers," can choose to receive messages via mobile phones or computers.

Observers say the latest move comes as the North beefs up its propaganda offensive to deny accusations that its submarine torpedoed a South Korean frigate on March 26, taking the lives of 46 sailors.

On July 14, Pyongyang created its own channel on YouTube, uploading video footage that praises its leader Kim Jong-il and defends itself against allegations over the sinking of the Cheonan warship near the inter-Korean maritime border in the West Sea.

Some sixty propaganda clips have been posted on the YouTube channel.

North Korea is also allegedly operating an army of elite hackers dedicated to attacking South Korean and U.S. websites.
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