N.Korea Wakes Up to Power of Twitter, YouTube

      August 19, 2010 09:42

      One of the messages on the North Korean twitter account Uriminzok reads, "The great leader comrade Kim Jong-il along with People's Army troops..."

      The U.S. and North Korea took their propaganda war to Twitter on Tuesday when State Department spokesman Philip Crowley tweeted about the North's use of the popular microblogging site.

      Referring to the Twitter account opened recently by "Uriminzokkiri," the official website of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, Crowley said, "We use Twitter to connect, to inform, and to debate. We welcome North Korea to Twitter and the networked world."

      In another tweet, Crowley or those who run his Twitter account asked, "The North Korean government has joined Twitter, but is it prepared to allow its citizens to be connected as well?"

      "The Hermit Kingdom will not change overnight, but technology once introduced can't be shut down. Just ask Iran," he said in a third.

      The Uriminzokkiri tweets mainly concern leader Kim Jong-il's activities, and propaganda materials denying responsibility for the sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan, the joint South Korea-U.S. military drills, and South Korean government policies. As of Tuesday it had more than 6,000 followers.

      Uriminzokkiri is also posting propaganda video clips on YouTube, including footage of the leftwing South Korean pastor Han Sang-ryeol's activities. Han embarked on an unauthorized visit to the North on June 12.

      The New York Times said North Korea "has taken its propaganda war against South Korea and the United States to a new frontier: YouTube and Twitter."

      A screen grab of Uriminzok ("Our Nation"), a twitter account run by North Korea
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