Mon. Feb 26th, 2024
alert-–-d​oes-north-korea-have-its-own-tiktok?-mystery-account-gives-glowing-insight-into-life-in-hermit-state-from-party-nights-to-beautiful-landscapes-leading-to-suspicion-it-is-propaganda-for-kim-jong-un’s-repressive-regimeAlert – D​oes North Korea have its own TikTok? Mystery account gives glowing insight into life in hermit state from party nights to beautiful landscapes leading to suspicion it is propaganda for Kim Jong Un’s repressive regime

Social media users have been questioning who is behind a TikTok account that posted videos showcasing everyday life in North Korea.

The page, named northkoreanlife, features a compilation of 19 videos of North Koreans walking to work, playing games on mobile phones and driving cars from brands including Audi, Hyundai and Mercedes.

All of the posts were uploaded in February of this year, with no activity on the page since then.

It is unclear who runs or owns the account, but many believe it was used as a propaganda tool by the North Korean government.

The account has more than 227,000 followers and 4.9m likes on its posts, but the majority who have viewed and commented have not been fooled by this shiny presentation of one of the most repressive countries in the world. 

The Tik Tok account, named northkoreanlife, features a compilation of 19 videos of North Koreans seemingly enjoying their life 

One post showed a local playing games on a smart phone, despite internet access only be accessible to 

It also showcases the driving of western cars from brands including Audi, Hyundai and Mercedes

Each post contains a caption portraying the joys of living in the Asian country.

Panoramic shots of the capital city and the surrounding countryside are tagged with statement such as ‘busy street in North Korea’, ‘Pyongyang has the best nightlife’ and ‘driving through the North Korean countryside’, followed by love-heart eyed emoji.

Under the rule of Kim Jong Un, the third leader of the nearly 75-year Kim dynasty, North Korea has become a state with no opposition, no free media and no religious freedom.

The totalitarian government maintains its fearful obedience using threats of execution, imprisonment and enforced disappearance, with thousands of political opponents said to be kept in large forced labour camps.

There is tight restrictions on communication with the outside world, with internet access only granted to members of Kim’s government and TVs limited to three channels – all controlled by those in power.

This isolation from the rest of the world means we do not truly know what life in North Korea is like, but the cultural and economic separation means the 26m natives suffer from malnutrition and live in extreme poverty. 

Of course, this is not shown on this TikTok account, which films people dressed in suits walking to and from work, or youngsters in school uniform spending time in the playground.

Even then, there is only a small handful of these people in the shots, with most of the videos containing desolate streets, empty roads and everybody walking in the same direction.

This has led to a number of claims online that the videos have been staged by the government, as they continue to pump out their warped version of North Korean reality to the western world. 

It is unclear who runs or owns the account, but many believe it was used as a propaganda tool by the North Korean government

Each post contains a caption portraying the supposed joys of living in the Asian country

Most of the videos contain  desolate streets, empty roads and everybody walking in the same direction

A number of TikiTok users have claimed the videos have been staged by the ruling authorities 

 One user commented: ‘Why is everyone walking in the exact same direction’

Another said: ‘Why do i feel like these are actors’

A third typed: ‘Notice how no one else has a phone’ 

Some were sympathetic to those in the clips, with one person writing: ‘‘I feel really sorry for them’

A further added: ‘That’s a simulation’

Others accused the videos of being edited, claiming the cars showcased were actually computer-generated. 

‘Literally CGI cars,’ one person said. 

The country is also known for its absurd laws that force rigid and controlled lives on the population.

Residents are only allowed one of 28 haircuts – 18 for women and 10 for men – not including that of Kim Jong Un. 

Following a visit to the country in 2013, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt labelled the nation a ‘strange place’, which was full of highly-staged encounters. 

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