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Chad O'Carroll has written on North Korea since 2010 and writes between London and Seoul.
Video sharing network YouTube removed two channels that regularly shared videos about North Korea in January, channel administrators told NK News on Monday.
The removal of the two channels comes less than three months after YouTube suspended the KoreaCentralTV1 channel, which, until its suspension, claimed to be the official representative of North Korea’s state tv channel.
On Sunday a YouTube channel maintained by Polish national Emil Truszkowski from Japan, who regularly discussed and promoted travel to North Korea, was terminated without warning.
And another channel maintained by Vietnamese national Vũ Nam Phương, which included hundreds of self-made and state media duplicated recordings, was also shut earlier in the month.
“My whole channel Pozdro z KRLD was first suspended at around 4:30 pm (Japanese time zone),” Truszkowski told NK News about the Sunday suspension. “After around 8 hours I found out that the channel is not “suspended” anymore: It got ‘terminated’.”
“The channel was in healthy condition without any community strikes,” he said, adding that the channel didn’t contain copyrighted material which might have otherwise caused the suspension.
Vũ Nam Phương said “YouTube deleted my channel on January 17 with a message that the content is not suitable (for the) community,” adding that over 350 videos had been deleted.
At the time the official KCNA channel was deleted from YouTube, the North Korea Tech blog said the suspension may have been designed to prevent North Korean administrators profiting from advertising revenue, a transaction that would have breached U.S. Treasury restrictions introduced in 2016.
“As far as I know, (these channels were not) official so all were possibly violating copyright,” said Martyn Williams of the North Korea Tech blog on Monday. “It’s impossible to know more without information from YouTube or the channel operators, but it would either be copyright complaints or something YouTube did proactively.”
Vũ Nam Phương, however, said he thought YouTube might be “implementing the U.S. and UN’s sanctions against North Korea.”
As of Monday several other well-known channels were still active. Uriminzokkiri, Toponmail, and StimmeKoreas were all still online, channels which regularly upload both unique and duplicated state media videos.
Although North Korean state media might be propagandistic in nature, state media videos are scrutinized daily by analysts, journalists, and academics for clues to help understand developments in the DPRK.
Google, which owns Youtube, was yet to comment at the time of publication.
Featured image: Emil Truszkowski