KCNA deletes and edits Jang Song Thaek articles en masse

Media deletes all references to Jang Song Thaek
December 12th, 2013
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North Korea’s state media outlet Korea Central News Agency has deleted every single article about Jang Song Thaek from their website database and edited his name out of all other articles mentioning him.

In total, 10-15 articles on Jang were deleted, with approximately 500 other articles mentioning Jang’s name edited to remove Jang’s name specifically.

“The scale of what they’re attempting to do here is unprecedented. North Korea ‘s websites are somewhat of an unknown quantity, and nothing on this scale has been detected before,” said Frank Feinstein, a New Zealand based computing specialist that tracks North Korean media output for NK News’s KCNA Watch.

“They’re attempting to write not just Jang, but several other elites, right out of the history books,” Feinstein added.

While South Korean media reported last weekend that Jang’s name had disappeared, the news was in fact based on limitations with KCNA’s search engine, and not down to a purposeful deletion of content.

Similarly, reports that suggested state newspaper Rodong Sinmun had deleted all the content about Jang Song Thaek were based on the fact the North Korean daily deleted all content prior to November, not specificially related to North Korea

But all that changed Friday, when Frank Feinstein of KCNA Watch, detecting the removal of all Jang Song Thaek content from the North’s .kp domain database.

Jang Song Thaek, North Korea’s former Vice-Chairman of the National Defense Commission and uncle of Kim Jong Un, was executed Thursday for a range of crimes against the ruling party and state.

Example edited article:

Kim Jong Un Enjoys Joint Performance Given by Moranbong Band and State Merited Chorus

Among the audience were Pak Pong Ju, Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Thaek, Ri Yong Gil, Jang Jong Nam, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Thae Bok, Pak To Chun, Kang Sok Ju, Kim Won Hong, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Yong Il, Kim Phyong Hae, Kwak Pom Gi, Mun Kyong Dok, Choe Pu Il, Jo Yon Jun and Thae Jong Su, officials of party and armed forces organs, chief secretaries of the WPK Provincial Committees, service personnel of the Korean People’s Army and students in the city.

Same article, post-execution:

Kim Jong Un Enjoys Joint Performance Given by Moranbong Band and State Merited Chorus

Among the audience were Pak Pong Ju, Choe Ryong Hae, officials of party and armed forces organs, chief secretaries of the WPK Provincial Committees, service personnel of the Korean People’s Army and students in the city.

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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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