North Korean News Agency Deletes Online Articles

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By Ewan Palmer | December 17, 2013 3:16 AM EST

The KCNA news website now has now articles online from before October 2013 (Reuters)

One of North Korea's state owned media websites has deleted more than 35,000 articles from its online archives.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has removed virtually all articles about the country's leader Kim Jong-un and the ones that remain only go as far back as October.

More than 35,000 Korean-language articles appear to have been removed from the website's archives, according to English-speaking website NK News

Including translations into English, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese, the number of missing articles is close to 100,000.

Frank Feinstein, a New Zealand based programmer, told NK News: "There were 35,000 articles dated September 2013 or earlier on KCNA in Korean. If they're leaving the odd one in, it's still a kill ratio of 98-99%."

Feinstein added that 20,000 articles have also been removed from the archives of state newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

"This is a calculated thing they've done. Across all sites, it means the order most likely came from above each individual agency.

"This is what makes it so interesting - it's a true North Korean purge, not just a KCNA one," Feinstein added.

NK News described the deletion of the article as the biggest online removal in KCNA's history. It occurred just a few days after the agency removed all mentions of Kim's uncle and recently executed Jang Song-thaek from its archives.

One expert, who did not wish to be named, said the reasons for deleting the articles could be to help secure Kim Jong-un as the new leader in the country, or may result from the removal of all references of Jang online.

The expert added: "Hearing the recent deletion of North Korea's KCNA records only added extra noise to the cacophony of confusion related to North Korea these days.

"My initial reaction is one of shock at the extremity of such an action, but it is clear it was a carefully made decision."

In the UK, the Tory party were recently accused of attempting to "re-write history" by deleting all their speeches and press releases online from the past 10 years from their website.

The party dismissed these claims and said it was just an attempt to clean up the site.

A Conservative spokesman said: "We are making sure our website keeps the Conservative Party at the forefront of political campaigning.

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