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YouTube shuts down North Korea channel for 'violations'

YouTube shuts down North Korea channel for 'violations'
A North Korean state-sanctioned YouTube channel was terminated this week for breaches of company policies. File Photo by Andrew Wong/UPI | License Photo

July 9 (UPI) -- At least one North Korea state-approved channel has been shut down on YouTube, with the Google subsidiary citing terms of service violations.

The video account "Red Star TV," operated by a group based in Russia that receives North Korea footage via satellite, has been suspended on the world's largest online video sharing site, Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.

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The channel was in operation as recently as Tuesday, but by Wednesday the channel was terminated for violating terms, according to the report.

The dissolution of the North Korea propaganda account has taken place more than once. But in what could be best described as a game of whack-a-mole, the North Korea-sanctioned account reopens and resumes uploads after each suspension.

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YouTube has shut down the account multiple times in 2019 and 2020. According to RFA, the site said in statement on June 11 the channel was being terminated, but the account restarted operations, prompting another shutdown on June 23. The account reopened shortly afterward, RFA reports.

North Korea has increased its presence on YouTube since Kim Jong Un assumed power.

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On Thursday, Echo of Truth, a YouTube channel believed to be managed directly by Pyongyang, was still available online. The channel has included a new style of presentation and has gained more than 21,000 subscribers. Echo of Truth drew the attention of outside media in the spring with videos claiming North Korea successfully prevented COVID-19 and zero cases have been reported in the reclusive country.

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Kim has placed high hopes on science and technology in his plan to develop the country's impoverished economy.

Pyongyang propaganda service DPRK Today said Thursday the country's Hana Music Information Center has developed a new music streaming service that can be accessed on mobile phones and computer tablets. The majority of the North Korean population is believed to own mobile phones, including in rural areas outside the capital.

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