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North Korea Looking For Friends On Facebook 183

crimeandpunishment writes "North Korea has apparently decided this social networking thing is worth doing. Just days after launching Twitter and YouTube accounts, it appears to have added Facebook to the list. It probably won't get too many friends in South Korea, which has already blocked access to the North Korean Twitter account for containing 'illegal information' under its security laws...and says the Facebook page could suffer the same fate."
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North Korea Looking For Friends On Facebook

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  • no points (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theheadlessrabbit ( 1022587 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @07:48PM (#33335668) Homepage Journal

    As much as I disagree with just about everything NK stands for, South Korea isn't winning an points in my book by blocking access.

    note: before any westerners point out that blocking access will only spike curiosity and make those in SK more interested it the account, I would like to point out that Korean culture values authority far more than ours, and from my own experience living there, the children in south Korea had little to no interest in the North.

  • Re:Zynga (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Suki I ( 1546431 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:04PM (#33335786) Homepage Journal

    Kim Jong-Il heard about Farmville and thought that sounded fun-.

    Really? I heard he was going to use it to better train his farmers.

    You can virtually feed a nation with a Farmville farm. Another high point, the traffic girls [] have a place to vent too.

  • by jiteo ( 964572 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:09PM (#33336186)
  • Re:no points (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:10PM (#33336188)
    Except that this isn't like Germany or even Iraq, in both those cases there was still a considerable amount of shared culture. Even if the East Germans had become so accustomed to getting the same reward for busting their asses as for sitting on their asses, there was still a considerable amount of shared culture and language to reunite to.

    Unfortunately in this case, there's been very, very little mixing of the nations people in the last 50 or so years, whereas with the Germanies there was at least minimal mixing over a nearly 30 year period of time that the Berlin Wall stood. Most likely the best we could hope for in the near term would be fore Kim Jong Il and his cronies to be ousted or otherwise leave power and for a period of time where there was at least some modest mixing of the people. As it stands now there's more in common, by far, between the Americans and Canadians, or the various groups withing China and India than there is between the Koreas.
  • Re:no points (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:30PM (#33336310)

    Points taken, but the two Koreans are also much more alike than the Germans or Iraqis in other regards. Ever since the Silla dynasty unified Korea in 676, the Korean peninsula (or at least a big portion of it) was under a common ruler until 1945. There are no isolated minority culture, no minority languages, no nothing. It's just a big swath of Koreans from the Yalu River to the island of Jeju.

    Contrast that with the Germans, who managed to found a unified nation only in the 19th century.

    50 years of brutal oppression cannot take everything away. We still speak the same language, eat the same food, and observe the same holidays (at least some of them). The notion of shared cultural heritage runs strong in Korea, along with the feeling that it's our "destiny" to be unified again. You may say it's not sensible (there are certainly many people who feel that way), but you cannot deny that the feeling is there.

  • by GumphMaster ( 772693 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:44PM (#33336394)
    Is trading with the DPRK legal in the United States? If Facebook/Twitter/etc. knowingly continued to provide a service the DPRK regime would they be in violation of US law?
  • Unification (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23, 2010 @01:56AM (#33337630)

    When they say unification, they mean through peaceful political means. Of course, anything that even resembles unification is a long shot at best.

    More likely, North Korea will collapse on its own and China will rush in from the north before the US can take it from the south.

  • Re:no points (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23, 2010 @06:02AM (#33338634)

    Contrast that with the Germans, who managed to found a unified nation only in the 19th century.

    Actually, reality is a bit more complicated than that [].

    That said, a shared identity/culture doesn't exist in a vacuum. Like e.g. a soundwave, it need a medium, and that medium is people, so all you have to do to break the connection is make sure that everyone who's alive doesn't share the identity/culture anymore and that everyone who does is dead. Arguably, the North Koreans have achieved all this: a few generations of total isolation and brainwashing will do it.

    It's not like there's anything in people's genes that you can appeal to in a bid to reunite Korea. It's possible, but at this point, it'll have to be done the hard way.

  • Re:Zynga (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mobby_6kl ( 668092 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @07:08AM (#33338912)

    As another poster pointed out, "a bit worse" is an understatement. East Germany was much better off relative to West than North Korea is to South. Here's a post I made about this on another forum:

    In the long run, sure. But even if DPRK were to collapse tomorrow, it's just not feasible for the two countries to fully reunite within several decades, at least. The comparison to West/East germany was already made, but maybe some numbers will make the scale of the problem sink in better. Raising the taxes in the south by a few percent isn't going to do it.

    East Germany: 16m
    West Germany: 63m
    3.9x higher population
    GDP per capita (couldn't find the raw numbers)
    West Germany has ~2.5x GDP

    North 24m
    South 48m
    2x higher population
    GDP per capita
    North 555
    South 19,300
    South is 35x higher. Thirty five times!

    From a pure humanistic point of view it would probably be better if the united Koreas were together but half as rich as the South used to be than for both to continue as-is, but I don't see that happening. There were twice as many West Germans for every East German as there are South Koreans to North Koreans, and the productivity and education was also much closer. The huge disparity in Koreas means that southerners could just adopt a northerner with their disposable income, but actually bringing them up to a comparable level would be a mind-boggling task.

    To be honest, I don't know what could be the other option. If it collapsed on its own without our involvement, the best bet would probably to leave them be and hope somebody more moderate gets into power and then slowly open up the trade and travel until the country reaches parity. If, on the other hand, there was an armed conflict and we (as in, everybody who isn't DPRK) rolled in to Pyongyang, my guess would be to install a puppet government and have them implement reforms while we pump in aid (insert your favorite development path), again, until there isn't such a huge difference. The population question would probably be the most difficult -- do we restrict travel, only let people into the north, allow working or student visas?

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead