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N. Korea goes YouTube-savvy in its propaganda offensive

All Headlines 17:35 August 10, 2010

By Sam Kim

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has apparently registered an account with the iconic U.S. video-sharing site YouTube, uploading clips that praise the isolated regime and defend itself against accusations that it attacked a South Korean warship.

At least 10 clips were found Tuesday under the name of uriminzokkiri, which represents the North's Web site. The name in Korean means "on our own as a nation" and was registered July 14.

The uploaded footage contain regurgitations of official cant that honor the North's leader, Kim Jong-il, and the usual South Korea bashing. The Aug. 2 upload contained an elaborately produced three-minute clip lashing out at South Korea's foreign minister.

Another clip, uploaded the same day and also produced in Korean, ridicules Seoul for its failure to stop the U.N. Security Council from placing Pyongyang's denial in its statement deploring the deadly March sinking of the Cheonan warship.

Forty-six South Korean sailors died in the sinking that a multinational investigation found the North responsible for in May. Military tensions have since soared between the two countries, which remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

North Korea has been expanding the use of the Internet in its propaganda offensive, observers say. In June, a North Korean woman believed to be an agent uploaded a clip praising her communist country on YouTube, drawing media attention here and abroad.

North Korea is also believed to be operating a unit dedicated to hacking foreign Web sites, including those of the United States and South Korea. Early this year, South Korea set up a cyber defense command to deal with such threats from the North.


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