CNN reported on the 4th (local time) that a video by North Korean YouTuber ‘YuMi’ has been viewed more than 40,000 times.
CNN focused on Yumi, a woman living in Pyongyang, who was uploaded six months ago on her YouTube channel called ‘Olivia Natasha-Yumi Space DPRK Daily’.
In the video, Yumi enters a shop with a signboard that reads ‘liquor shop’ and examines the freezer, as if taking a VLOG.
Yumi, who picked up the ice cream one by one, looked around for a while while continuing to say lines like “(Wrap) pictures are so cute” and “This tastes like a peach”.
After finally choosing an ice cream cone and tasting it, Yumi says, “There’s fruit jelly inside,” and “the sweets are really delicious.”
Currently, about 10 videos are uploaded on the channel, such as Yumi going to an amusement park, fishing, or exercising in a fully equipped gym.
Not just Yumi. Last year, Songa, an 11-year-old girl who lives in Pyongyang, appeared on the YouTube channel ‘Sally Parks’ and drew attention as a ‘North Korean Child YouTuber’.
In the video, Songa reveals that ‘Harry Potter’ is his favorite book, and visits Munsu Water Park in North Korea. This channel has surpassed 20,000 subscribers.
CNN reported on these channels that experts assumed they were regime propaganda campaigns designed by high-ranking North Korean officials.
CNN first pointed out that access to the Internet is strictly restricted in North Korea, and access to foreign content such as books and movies is banned, so using YouTube itself is limited.
At the same time, it was added that only certain classes of places such as amusement parks and water parks that appear in the background of the video can be used, and there is a high possibility that they are not operating normally.
Park Seong-cheol, a researcher at the North Korean Human Rights Information Center, told CNN, “(This video) is like a well-prepared drama by the North Korean regime.”
The Park Commissioner said that due to power conditions, North Korean amusement parks are known to be open only on weekends or special days. He added that the performers’ English proficiency also suggested they were connected to high-ranking North Korean officials.
Dongguk University North Korea Research Institute Professor Ha Seung-hee explained that after COVID-19, voices calling for a new propaganda method grew louder in North Korea, and after Kim Jong-un ordered “creative propaganda, ” YouTube vlogs began to proliferate.