North Korean government arrives on Twitter

Tue 17th of August 2010, filed under Social Media

Twitter welcomes North Korea

North Korea has turned to Twitter in a bid to boost its international standing.

In March 2010, the country was heavily criticised for its alleged involvement in the sinking of a South Korean warship. But since then, the Communist rulers of the one-party state have embarked upon a new public relations drive with the internet at its heart, reports the Guardian.

First up was an official YouTube account; 78 news clips have been uploaded in the four weeks since the channel launched last month. Now it has emerged that the country is on Twitter under the username @uriminzok. Since signing up to the micro-blogging service last week, the account has posted 11 tweets, including praising the country's leader Kim Jong-il and criticising media reports of the South Korean warship incident.

North Korea invests in IT

Professor Hazel Smith, a North Korea expert at Cranfield University, is not surprised by the move. "It's very interesting because North Korea is not a technologically underdeveloped country," she said. "It's extremely poor but by no means the image portrayed as totally isolated. For at least the last 30 years they've been investing in IT-related training, so it's not really a very big development for them to do this."

North Korea joins an extensive list of political accounts on Twitter. In the UK, official accounts include @number10gov, @foreignoffice and @ukhomeoffice. Meanwhile, @whitehouse is the official Twitter account for the home of the US president.

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