News / Asia

N. Korean Propaganda Appears on Popular Internet Social Media sites

Multimedia

North Korean propaganda has emerged on popular Internet social media sites. It is not for domestic consumption as virtually no North Korean has Internet access. Rather it is targeted at other countries, especially South Korea. But in the democratic South, considered the world's most connected country, the government blocks such content.

South Korea's Internet censors are working harder these days to keep up with an expanding number of Web sites showing material from or sympathetic to North Korea.

South Korea blocks such sites under laws forbidding dissemination of false information or activities against the state.

Bloggers such as Kim Sang-bum, of the on-line community Bloter, which focuses on digital technology, calls the censorship an over-reaction.

"I don't think it is necessary for our government to regulate citizens too tightly. South Koreans have become too sophisticated to fall for North Korean propaganda," he said. "We consider that kind of propaganda as rather silly."

South Korea's Communications Standards Commission and the National Police Agency declined requests for interviews.

Jeon Kyoung-woong is the former director of the Korea Internet Media Association, and an on-line journalist. Jeon says pro-Pyongyang material needs to be restricted because it is not as innocuous.

"There are actually forces inside South Korea supporting the North Korean regime," he said. "Some of them are in touch with North Korean spy groups. Thus the South Korean government sets restrictions on such on-line content."

South Korean Internet users must register with their real names. On the most popular web sites, anyone posting comments must register with their national identity number.

"The adoption of real-name system shows that the current government is excessively sensitive about political opinion on the Internet. I think the situation has become worse since the current government came into power."

Jeon, however, is less bothered.

"South Korean cyber police has been active for more than a decade," said Jeon. "Recently it feels like the cyber police are becoming increasingly active but that is only because it's being publicized by those subject to such restrictions. Political restrictions were actually tighter under the previous two governments."

While South Koreans can freely argue about to what degree on-line content here should be regulated, that is not an option in North Korea. Only a few people there are allowed Internet access. And the country only recently established its first full connection to the Internet.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid