Seoul to block N. Korea’s Facebook news site

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jun 6, 2013 - 20:33
  • Updated : Jun 6, 2013 - 20:33
Communications authorities in Seoul are expected to block citizens’ access to North Korea’s latest propaganda outlet on Facebook.

The North’s official broadcaster, Korean Central Television, began to deliver live news broadcasting on its fan page apparently in March in a widening effort to promote its regime and ideology online.

After launching a French-language version of its Facebook account in May 2011, KCTV put up a German version in February and the Korean version on May 29 this year. 
The North’s official Korean Central Television’s Facebook fan page

The National Police Agency said on Thursday it will request the Korea Communications Commission to ban online access from within South Korea to the site.

“The purpose of KCTV activities on Facebook and the contents provided there violate the National Security Law here,” said the National Police Agency.

Until Thursday morning, there were 644 Facebook users who “liked” KCTV’s fan site. And a number of South Korean Facebook users have already started posting hostile and angry comments toward the North.

The state broadcaster’s English-language Facebook account, “Korean Central Television,” has served as its official international fan page.

The site features the profile image of Juche Tower in Pyongyang, which symbolizes the ideals of self-reliance championed by Kim Il-sung, the founder of the communist state.

The site shows many pictures and posts promoting the North’s supremacy as well as the magnificence of its leader, Kim Jong-un.

According to the authority, the act of simply “liking” on Facebook or bookmarking the KCTV fan site is not in violation of the National Security Law. However, persons sharing treacherous posts with others or writing comments that are considered a dire threat to the national security of the South could be accused of violating the law.

Due to the limited manpower and the fact that many North Korean propaganda websites are serviced by foreign-based hosts, authorities face multiple challenges investigating such activities.

The North’s major propaganda website Uriminzokkiri also has been operating its own Twitter and Facebook accounts since August 2010, posting derogatory comments toward the U.S. and promoting communist ideals.

By Kwon Bum-joon (