North Korea lashed out at South Korea for blocking its Twitter and YouTube accounts, saying the move proves Seoul opposes improving inter—Korean relations.
The North’s government said this month it had joined Twitter and YouTube in what was seen as an effort to bolster its propaganda warfare against South Korea and the U.S. Seoul officials quickly responded by blocking both accounts from being accessed in the South, saying they contain illegal information banned under the South’s security law.
On Saturday, the North’s government—run Uriminzokkiri website, which opened the accounts, issued a statement accusing South Korean President Lee Myung—bak’s administration of setting a “hostile mood” between the two rivals.
“It is clear that the Lee Myung—bak administration is a group of traitors against unification, and does not want to improve inter—Korean relations or even wish for dialogue and cooperation,” Uriminzokkiri said.
It said the blocking would hamper efforts to facilitate mutual understanding between the rival Koreas through the Internet.
The Twitter account uriminzok, which means “our nation” in Korean, gained more than 8,500 followers in a week, with just 30 tweets linking to reports that praise North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and lambast South Korea and the U.S. over their joint military drills.
More than 130 videos have been uploaded to North Korea’s YouTube channel, including clips that condemn Seoul and Washington for blaming Pyongyang for the March sinking of a South Korean warship. Pyongyang has insisted it has nothing to do with the sinking, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.
South Korea’s state—run Communications Standards Commission blocked uriminzok two weeks ago and the YouTube channel last week. Commission officials said the accounts carry content that “praises, promotes and glorifies” North Korea.
North Korea, one of the world’s most secretive countries, blocks Internet access for all but the elite among its 24 million citizens, but is believed to have a keen interest in information technology.
The two Koreas technically remain in a state of war because the 1950—53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.