December 13, 2010
Pro-North Korean websites are persistently eluding the forces of South Korean law that are trying to shut them down.
One forum that was blocked after the North’s artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island has immediately popped up again under a slightly different web address.
The opening screen features a photograph of former North Korean leader Kim Il-sung and carries the words “The North is no longer taboo.” It also says, “It’s wrong to limit access to this forum. Immediately withdraw curbs on freedom of expression.” A thread discussing the situation in the West Sea is full of pro-North Korean comments, questioning whether Pyongyang was really behind the provocations.
In another section, articles from the North’s official Rodong Sinmun daily appear in real time. “No matter how cunning the machinations of the warmongers [South Korea] may be, they will not be able to halt the advance of [North Korea]. They will face the same fate as a moth driven to a flame,” one fulminates. At present, the forum has 1,500 comments, photographs and movies. It even contains a program that enables access to websites blocked in South Korea.
South Korean police have classified 64 websites as “pro-North Korean” for praising the North’s “Songun” or military-first ideology and inciting rebellion in the South. Security officials said they had choked off access to such websites at source, but a simple program is all it takes to bypass the blocks.
The website of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan or Chongryon carries a complete article from the Rodong Sinmun, a North Korean mouthpiece, which says that South Korean military drills taking place on the West Sea “are wicked moves assuming an invasion into the North.” A website describing itself as being on the frontlines of the “anti-imperialist battle of the Korean people” contains a long list of North Korean songs and movies.
Content from several other pro-North Korean organizations is also available on those websites.
An official at the Korea Communications Standards Commission said the websites “are constantly creating alternate IP addresses so it’s impossible to block them completely.”