Mknac’s Weblog

Diving into the shallow pool of Web 2.0 and Social Media head first!

Bloggers in North Korea…NOT

I recently visited Global Voices Online to try to get a taste of international blogging.  My assignment was to pick a country that started with the fist letter of my first or last name and check out the blogging going on there.

Korean Peninsula

Korean Peninsula

After looking at the list of available countries I found one I thought would be interesting and that I had an interest in; North Korea.  My first assignment in the Army as a young second lieutenant was the Republic of South Korea.  My experiences there changed my life and my world viewpoint.  I’ve always maintained an interest and followed events in and around the Korean peninsula ever since.

The first thing I realized was that there weren’t any North Korean bloggers.  There are people blogging about North Korea, South Korea and the greater Pacific Rim but no North Korean bloggers.  I guess that this didn’t really surprise me or should it surprise anybody else.  Given North Korea’s secret communist political system I doubt the last thing the government wants is information from the average citizen being broadcast around the world.  However, I can’t imagine that there isn’t somebody secretly blogging from within North Korea defying the government.  If there is I couldn’t find them. If you know of any let me know.

The blogs that I did find covered current events and some long simmering issues. Bloggers are still talking about the Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea in the 1970’s and 1980’s and their lack of repatriation.  North Korean nuclear weapons is a on-going topic.  The up-coming Olympics in China are also popular.  A long standing women’s issue, abucted women used as sexual comfort slaves by the Japanese army during World War II had an extensive blog with many uploaded videos about the plight of these women.

Perhaps I should have chosen a country with more activity that would have been easier to blog about.  But from a larger perspective I think the fact that a country has no bloggers in 2008 is a story all by itself much larger than a country that has a million bloggers.

A little side trip:
Many people don’t realize it but the U.S. and North Korea are still technically at war as only an armistice was signed that ended the fighting during the Korean Conflict; not a peace treaty that would have ended the war. (Korean Armistice Agreement) Although the Korean Conflict was started by the north I never understood why a peace treaty was never signed.  I understand that everyone was happy when the armistice ended the fighting and it was time to “cutta” as we used to say in 2nd Infantry Division.  (Cutta is Korean slang for Cutta-chogie; lets get the hell out of here.)  But you would think that some 60 years after the end of the fighting that somebody could have re-visted the armistice and suggested a peace treaty.  The U.S. has had treaties with countries with all kinds of varying forms of government to include communist governments.  Why not North Korea?  Yes I know they’ve burned us on agreements in the past.

I can’t help but think that some (certainly not all) of the international issues with North Korea could have been avoided if an actual peace treaty was signed, even if it was only 20 years ago.  A peace treaty might end some of North Korea’s paranoia about being attacked and allow it to act like a nation state in the global community rather than a rabid dog trying to protect a bone.   I wonder what might be avoided in the future if a peace treaty was signed in the next couple years…

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July 10, 2008 - Posted by | social media | , , , , , ,

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