Authorities in South Korea are questioning around 40 people over Internet postings said to be in support of North Korea, according to several local news reports.
(Update: The Dong-a-Ilbo reports around 70 are under criminal probe on suspicion of circulating materials praising North Korea online in violation of the National Security Law.)
The material was posted on personal websites and the now defunct “Cyber Command for National Defense” website, according to Yonhap. The site, which was shutdown late last year, had about 6,500 members of whom about 600 were judged to be at its core, according to previous estimates.
Last week police confiscated the server on More >
South Korean prosecutors are launching a crackdown on websites and users judged to be posting “pro-North Korean” material, according to several local press reports.
The action comes as regulators judge the amount of such material available to South Korean citizens has ”mushroomed to a risky level,” according to prosecutors quoted by Yonhap News said.
North Korea’s state-run media outlets have spent the last year launching several propaganda-filled sites that report on aspects of life in the country and extol the benefits of the country’s political system and its leaders. The outlets have also expanded onto social media with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels.
The ease with More >
Reporters Without Borders has published a detailed report on the North Korean media landscape. The report is the result of of a fact-finding trip to Seoul in July by an RSF staffer and concludes that North Korea is no longer as sealed off from the outside world as it used to be.
Shortwave radio broadcasts from foreign stations, CDs and DVDs of South Korean TV broadcasts, data smuggled over the Chinese border and USB keys dropped by balloon are all creating cracks in the wall of isolation that has surrounded North Korea for decades, said the report.
It also called on the South Korean More >
North Korea’s state-run news agency has hit out against propaganda radio broadcasts targeted at the country.
(This post has been updated. See below)
In a commentary published on Wednesday, the Korean Central News Agency criticized the broadcasts for using “the same frequency band as used by the TV broadcasting in the DPRK and conducting its anti-DPRK radio propaganda with the same radio frequency band as used in the DPRK.”
North Korea is targeted by a handful of overseas radio stations that largely transmit on shortwave frequencies to reach listeners in the country. Some of the stations, including South Korea’s KBS and Seoul-based Open Radio for North Korea, More >
The teenager believed to be the 16 year-old grandson of Kim Jong Il has scrambling to delete or block access to his Internet social media accounts after news spread of his admission into a Bosnian school.
Attention was focused on the accounts — one on Facebook and two on Twitter — after South Korean media reported that Kim Han Sol had been accepted into the United World College in Mostar, Bosnia.
Pictures posted on the social media services, including the one to the right, were published by South Korean media organizations before access was restricted. The images and comments written by Kim Han More >
The Associated Press has signed a deal with North Korean state television that gives it exclusive rights to high-definition video of major news events in the country.
The deal comes as AP and its biggest competitor, Reuters, race to expand their access to North Korea ahead of the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth — an event that is expected to see large scale celebrations and events in Pyongyang around April 15.
The new deal lasts three years and makes London-based APTN (Associated Press Television News) “the only agency to transmit broadcast-quality HD pictures of key news events in North Korea,” More >
Kim Jong Il made a surprise appearance on the season premiere edition of Fox TV’s “The Simpsons” on Sunday night. And so did “the Internet he banned.”
The episode, which marked the beginning of the 23rd season of the hit animated show, features a former CIA agent called Wayne. Played by Kiefer Sutherland, Wayne becomes a security guard at the nuclear power plant and eventually saves Homer’s life.
It’s right at the end of the show that he reveals he was “in a North Korean prison being forced to write a musical about Kim Jong Il with a car battery hooked up More >
The number of requests by South Korean police for the deletion of Internet content alleged to be pro-North Korean has soared in the past two years, according to a report in the Dong-A Ilbo.
Police submitted 80,449 requests to the Korea Communications Standards Commission for the removal of online postings in 2010. That compares to 14,430 in 2009 and just 1,793 in 2008 and represents a 45-fold increase over the last two years, the newspaper said.
The annual deletions of North Korean content were pretty constant during the middle of the last decade at between 1,000 and 1,500 per year. They began More >
Switch on an FM radio in Pyongyang and there isn’t much to listen to, according to a scan of the FM band by a recent visitor to the country.
Mark Fahey found just two radio stations available, although one was repeated on multiple frequencies.
Pyongyang FM Broadcasting (Pyongyang FM Pangsong) was broadcasting on 105.2 MHz. Mark said the station, “opened each morning with a few minutes of test tone, an interval signal and that the 6AM time signal.”
Here’s a recording Mark provided of the start of broadcasts on August 16. You can hear the station ID as “Pyongyang FM Pangsong imnida” (This More >