YouTube Closes Window into Secretive Nation of North Korea

YouTube caused uproar after it shuttered propaganda channels in North Korea that were being used by different researchers to get a better understanding of the secretive nation.

Analyst said that the channels shutdown had provided important information that had helped them follow the movement of President Kim Jong Un, the advances in weapons programs for the country, and other developments deemed important.

One expert on international affairs said that closing down the channels hurt the effort of tracking activities of importance in the highly secretive nations, at just the worst time possible.

Tensions between the U.S. and North Kora have reached a boiling point this year as the North Korean regime continues advancing its program for nuclear weapons and U.S. President Donald Trump has responded often with strong rhetoric.

The closed channels on YouTube played clips of state TV as well as other content from North Korea. One of the channels, operated by Uriminzokkiri, a government propaganda website received millions of views, but YouTube posted that it had been terminated because of a legal complaint.

Videos shown on the Uriminzokkiri channels made headlines across the globe, including one from 2013 that appeared as if it showed an imagined attack on government buildings in the U.S. with missiles. Analysts have been studying the footage the North Korea government releases on the channels in search of clues about their missiles and other hardware the military possesses.

The videos help them as well to understand what the regime in North Korea tells its people, and the messages it might be attempting to send foreign governments.

The videos from North Korea are information sources that are indispensable for those outside of North Korea said a researcher.

It was not clear what the reason was for YouTube to decide to shut the channels down. Google was not responding to requests for official comments regarding the shuttering of the different channels.

The researchers added that the YouTube channels did not have ads so they were not making any money for the regime, which has been hit with international sanctions of late in an attempt to cut of streams of income for the government.

The actions by Google added to confusion over the sanctions. It suspended the Uriminzokkiri channel as well as others initially last Friday, saying they violated the community guidelines. Then the channels were reinstated during the weekend, only to shut them down again on Tuesday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *