North Korea Did Not Spend $15 Developing Their Website

April 30th, 2012
22

UPDATE  01 MAY NOON: Wired.com have now corrected and amended the original article. Thanks to Editor Noah for taking the time to do so.

UPDATE 30 APRIL 2 1.55PM EST: Please retweet this article and help correct the torrent of articles now repeating the original and false Wired.com one!

UPDATE 30 APRIL 10:30AM EST: Just

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About the Author

Chad O'Carroll

Chad O'Carroll founded NK News in 2010. He is based in Washington, D.C.

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  • Bettina Rech

    This is all to often the case when it comes to NK reporting. Reporters just “repeat” instead of report, hence why this is being republished on so many news websites…. 

  • Bettina Rech

    This is all to often the case when it comes to NK reporting. Reporters just “repeat” instead of report, hence why this is being republished on so many news websites…. 

  • Confucius Confucius

    I suggest you subscribe to the Facebook posts of Leonid Petrov, Joe Terwilliger, and yours truly… We expose these nonsense North Korea articles on a regular basis; as soon as the broken stories “break”

    • http://twitter.com/nknewsorg NK News

      Please send links I’d like to do that.

  • Confucius Confucius

    I suggest you subscribe to the Facebook posts of Leonid Petrov, Joe Terwilliger, and yours truly… We expose these nonsense North Korea articles on a regular basis; as soon as the broken stories “break”

    • http://twitter.com/nknewsorg NK NEWS

      Please send links I’d like to do that.

  • http://psjournal.tumblr.com/ P’yongan Society Journal

    Thanks for posting this. A lot here that needed to be said, and said more often both about the quality and focus of North Korea coverage. I fear one day most North Koreans will face the horrible realization that they have have not only been deceived by their own, but also largely misunderstood by the outside world. (My feeling is many already know more than most of us can imagine) Even if the latter is largely a result of the former, we should do our best not to add insult to injury by misreading and misrepresenting the country, society, and people. If the country is “closed” or “inaccessible” that is all the more reason to raise our own standards to get better idea of the real situation.  

  • http://psjournal.tumblr.com/ P’yongan Society Journal

    Thanks for posting this. A lot here that needed to be said, and said more often both about the quality and focus of North Korea coverage. I fear one day most North Koreans will face the horrible realization that they have have not only been deceived by their own, but also largely misunderstood by the outside world. (My feeling is many already know more than most of us can imagine) Even if the latter is largely a result of the former, we should do our best not to add insult to injury by misreading and misrepresenting the country, society, and people. If the country is “closed” or “inaccessible” that is all the more reason to raise our own standards to get better idea of the real situation.  

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GW4ZPPTEBNG7I2VBJ4B4ZKSHHI Steve

    Sad, but you will be vindicated by far fewer people than those who read Wired. Yours is a great example of western media misunderstanding of North Korea.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GW4ZPPTEBNG7I2VBJ4B4ZKSHHI Steve

    Sad, but you will be vindicated by far fewer people than those who read Wired. Yours is a great example of western media misunderstanding of North Korea.

  • Nate Thayer

     Just because North Korea may be the most egregious government in the world, doesn’t give the properly organized free press the latitude to just make things up and lower standards of accuracy and fact checking when reporting on North Korea. It seems that when it comes to much reporting on North Korea, there is an unwritten rule that if the story is outrageous enough don’t let the facts interfere with publishing a good story. As a journalist who has specialized in Asia, covered and been to North Korea, and takes pride in the standards of good journalism, this is embarrassing. Did they really refuse to retract and clarify the story? It is impossible that the Wired reporter didn’t know this story was false, with a cursory check of the numerous “official’ news outlets of the DPRK not to mention the numerous stories done on this quite odd Spanish sympathizer. Just Google him. Nate Thayer

    • http://www.nknews.org NK News

      What follows is the email we sent last Wednesday – 5 days before publishing this article.  we then sent a further note to Ackerman on Monday – and it wasn’t until Wednesday that “Danger Room” editor Schachtman published an “update” at the end of their article:

      “Dear Spencer,Just thought I’d drop you a note about your article.This piece is not actually news – the site you refer to is not an official North Korea website (despite its proclamation to be one). It is maintained by a third party – Spanish citizen Alejandro Cao de Benos de Les y Pérez (of “Friends of Kim” fame). He claims it is an official website but it is in fact nothing more than a “fan” website. He runs the Korea Friendship Association – a worldwide group of Northkorea / communist sympathizers.Yes, he built the website using a commercial theme from themeforest for wordpress…but since its nothing more than a fan website, this should not be published as news.  The reason I’m writing is because we at NK News come across articles like this all the time which are written with little research but shared widely on social media platforms.  When incorrect, they merely serve to reinforce stereotypesand characterizations of the country.  Note that I nor NK News are anything to do with the DPRK government, but the purpose of NK News is to ensure news on NK remains critical and objective – and well researched.If you would like, I suggest writing a similar piece on the UKGovernment’s Civil Service ( view-source:http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/) website, which also uses a commercial Envato Themeforest theme. But maybe that is notnewsworthy, because its not North Korea related.Tad Farrell, NK News 

  • Nate Thayer

     Just because North Korea may be the most egregious government in the world, doesn’t give the properly organized free press the latitude to just make things up and lower standards of accuracy and fact checking when reporting on North Korea. It seems that when it comes to much reporting on North Korea, there is an unwritten rule that if the story is outrageous enough don’t let the facts interfere with publishing a good story. As a journalist who has specialized in Asia, covered and been to North Korea, and takes pride in the standards of good journalism, this is embarrassing. Did they really refuse to retract and clarify the story? It is impossible that the Wired reporter didn’t know this story was false, with a cursory check of the numerous “official’ news outlets of the DPRK not to mention the numerous stories done on this quite odd Spanish sympathizer. Just Google him. Nate Thayer

    • http://www.nknews.org NK News

      What follows is the email we sent last Wednesday – 5 days before publishing this article.  we then sent a further note to Ackerman on Monday – and it wasn’t until Wednesday that “Danger Room” editor Schachtman published an “update” at the end of their article:

      “Dear Spencer,

      Just thought I’d drop you a note about your article.This piece is not actually news – the site you refer to is not an official North Korea website (despite its proclamation to be one). It is maintained by a third party – Spanish citizen Alejandro Cao de Benos de Les y Pérez (of “Friends of Kim” fame).

      He claims it is an official website but it is in fact nothing more than a “fan” website. He runs the Korea Friendship Association – a worldwide group of Northkorea / communist sympathizers.Yes, he built the website using a commercial theme from themeforest for wordpress…but since its nothing more than a fan website, this should not be published as news.  The reason I’m writing is because we at NK News come across articles like this all the time which are written with little research but shared widely on social media platforms.  When incorrect, they merely serve to reinforce stereotypesand characterizations of the country.  

      Note that I nor NK News are anything to do with the DPRK government, but the purpose of NK News is to ensure news on NK remains critical and objective – and well researched.

      If you would like, I suggest writing a similar piece on the UKGovernment’s Civil Service (http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/) website, which also uses a commercial Envato Themeforest theme.

      But maybe that is notnewsworthy, because its not North Korea related.

      Tad Farrell, NK News”

      For the record, Ackerman didn’t reply once. We also tweeted at him directly several times. And as mentioned, had comments left unapproved beneath said article by moderators.

  • http://twitter.com/MECroy Mark Edward Croy

    Wow…really well done! Journalism schools need a course in source checking on the internet…lol

  • http://twitter.com/MECroy Mark Edward Croy

    Wow…really well done! Journalism schools need a course in source checking on the internet…lol

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  • http://www.moviein3d.net/ Caitlin Roberts

    You call Alejandro Cao de Benos an Spanish national but he calls himself a North Korean using the words “we” and “our government”, etc.