The tyrant who tweets. Does Kim Jong-il have a Twitter account? Could this be the new ‘in thing’ for leftists?
The Globe and Mail covers North Korea and Twitter. Full story here.
North Korea has for decades been the most isolated country on the planet, with almost no links to the outside world. The Internet can be accessed only by the most powerful and well-connected in Pyongyang, while ordinary North Koreans aren’t allowed to possess mobile phones.
Which is why the discovery Monday that the North Korean government has a Twitter page caused a stir in the world known as the Twitterverse.
“First they got nukes. Next level: Twitter account” tweeted Mikaël Hardy, a French engineer living in the Chinese city of Shenzhen and one of the first to discover that Mr. Kim’s regime had gone online using the account kcna_dprk.
Word spread fast. Within hours, more than 300 people were “following” the North Korean Twitterer, including this reporter. To my surprise, the kcna_dprk immediately returned the compliment and deigned to follow my postings as well.
The Pyongyang Twitterer’s bio reads “News from Korean Central News Agency of DPRK,” referring to the news service that has long been the official voice of the regime (the country’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). All of its 467 updates since going online in April have been English versions of the agency’s news reports.
Mysteriously, another Twitter page (koreadpr) claims to be the Twitter page of Mr. Kim himself, who has bragged in the past of his Internet knowledge and once asked U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright for her e-mail address. However, it sits empty other than an image of North Korea’s official state emblem and a link to the government’s website.
Who knows if the Twitter account is for real. And why would Kim Jong-il need a Twitter account anyway? He has MSNBC, CNN, The New York Times, The United Nations, ABC, CBS et al to do that kind of work for him.
Then again he could just be jealous of all of the Che posters used by Obama campaign supporters and he just wants to be cool too.
If Che can make it onto the walls of Obama’s campaign headquarters in Houston and a judge’s office in Ohio then just imagine how cool leftists would be if they had a Twitter feed from The Dear Leader! So shave off those goatees, take off the cause bracelets and leave the Che t-shirts at home. kcna_dprk’s tweets will be all the rage in the faculty lounges from now on.