YouTube closed down the government’s official channel recently blocked. Again two additional channels associated with the government Uriminzokkiri, a propaganda channel, and Tonpomail, which published state TV are blocked.
North Korea’s internet presence is more robust than many people assume. The nation and its affiliates have several YouTube channels run or linked to the government until banned. North Korea researchers don’t have many windows into the nation. So a lot of information they glean comes from the internet.
We love that YouTube is a powerful platform for documenting events and shining light on dark corners around the world. But we must comply with the law, YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. Accounts are disabled if repeatedly violate our community guidelines or terms of service and required by law to do so.
U.S. sanctions Violated
North Korea could have made money off its YouTube videos, which would have violated U.S. sanctions. Uriminzokkiri a propaganda channel, but Pollack editor of The Nonproliferation Review threw some doubt on the idea that it closed for the same reason.
Curtis Melvin, a North Korea analyst at the U.S.-Korea Institute who’s also in charge of North Korean Economy Watch, made Pollack’s same point about ad money. But he also wrote that an executive order signed by former President Barack Obama blocks “all property and interests in property. That have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the government of North Korea.
If YouTube blocked these other channels due to this part of the order. Melvin wrote order an example of regulations written. So broadly that they hit and destroy assets that are actually important to the U.S. policy community.
Melvin questioned whether Google, which owns YouTube, might be able to get a waiver to bypass the executive order. But then questioned whether or not the company would bother to fight for something. So obviously irrelevant to their financial interests.