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North Korea embarks on Internet purge of executed official

Martyn Williams | Dec. 16, 2013
State-run websites have removed references to Jang Song Thaek, who was executed Thursday.

The revised version of the article on the KCNA website excludes the final sentence that mentioned Jang and the other officials.

The changes mirror those over the weekend when state TV repeated a documentary about Kim Jong Un that had featured images and video of Jang alongside the leader. The scenes showing Jang had been edited to either cut him out of the frame or, in some cases, he had been digitally deleted from pictures.

The same thing hasn't happened so far at a website carrying KCNA news operated by a North Korean association in Japan. The site was the primary Internet source for KCNA articles for years before the agency opened its own website and is not under the direct control of government propagandists. It remains to be seen if articles on that site will be edited and deleted.

Even if that happens, people like Feinstein maintain a back-up of all KCNA news articles and images so the stories won't be lost.

As the rest of the world knows, the Internet never forgets.

But for North Koreans, there is no Internet access. The country is tightly controlled and all media outlets are run by the state, private media is not permitted, phones cannot make or receive overseas calls and reception of foreign radio broadcasts is banned, although it happens in secret.

 

 

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