Chongryun on YouTube?

UPDATE: As noted in the comments and in this post, Uriminzokkiri is run by the North Koreans, not the Chongryun.

ORIGINAL POST:

The pro-Pyongyang ethnic Korean community in Japan (Chongryun, Chosen Soren) has apparently opend a YouTube channel named “uriminzokkiri” (“On our own as a nation”) where they are uploading pro-DPRK and DPRK-made videos.

The Chongryun operate a number of web pages on behalf of themselves and the North Korean government (Chongryon.com, Naenara, elufa.net, uriminzokkiri.com, and more) all of which host video content.  So why open a YouTube account?  All these web pages are blocked in South Korea—so I am wondering if South Korean readers see these YouTube videos? 

UPDATE: Gag notes the following in the comments: “The ‘uriminzokkiri’ account is presumably run by the website of the same name, which links to it. The uriminzokkiri.com homepage lists two email addresses on silibank.com, so I doubt that it’s run by the Chongryon either. (elufa.net, which is in Japanese, has an email address on its own domain.)

I wonder also whether it is just a matter of time before the US Justice Department/Treasury Department goes knocking on YouTube’s door.  If this account is sponsored by the official Chonryon organization, the US government might have a problem with that.  I suspect, however, that the account is “maintained” by a “private” individual so that it cannot be construed as engagement in a business trade with the DPRK.  In the past, on line chat services owned by Yahoo and Linkedin have been asked to close accounts of individuals in sanctioned countries like the DPRK.  

As of now, the account hosts nearly 40 videos.  Unfortunatley not a single one is of the North Korean evening news.  The North Korean news is usually posted on Elufa.net, but has not been updated since July 26. Rather than running 10 pages poorly, they might consider consolidating and running 2 pages well!

According to 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.

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.

 

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  • Gag Halfrunt

    Naenara is run by Korea Computer Center, not the Chongryon. (There’s a KCC copyright notice at the foot of each page.) It’s hosted on a server in Germany.

    The “uriminzokkiri” account is presumably run by the website of the same name, which links to it. The uriminzokkiri.com homepage lists two email addresses on silibank.com, so I doubt that it’s run by the Chongryon either. (elufa.net, which is in Japanese, has an email address on its own domain.)

  • Perhapse this account is interesting enough? just take a look at this twitter account! It’s a brand new account

    http://twitter.com/uriminzok

  • Pingback: North Korean Economy Watch » Blog Archive » DPRK organizaiton opens Twitter account()

  • Petter

    BTW, North Korea isn’t officially a sanctioned country under the trading with the enemy act anymore as the terror-stamp was removed, it’s however defacto sanctioned and trade has to be approved of in advance so I wonder how it effects web services like this. However Twitter and facebook and MSN services is available to the totally sanctioned Iran (at least when it belongs to opposition) so there’s some double standard here. Because it’s illegal of them to do so.

  • Mark

    I believe the uriminzokkiri.com website is run by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland and is targeted at netizens in South Korea (where it is blocked).

  • Mark

    I’ve also heard that this Youtube account is officially DPRK-sanctioned but I just did a quick Google search and was unable to verify that claim:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/chosunmusiccom

    It accompanied the now-defunct website chosunmusic.com which was also blocked in South Korea according to this Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_South_Korea). Unfortunately that’s the only source I could find.


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