Kim Jong Un uses child 'influencers' to spread propaganda to the world
Kim Jong Un uses child ‘influencers’ to spread North Korean propaganda to the world: Girls talk about their idyllic lives on social media (despite the internet being BANNED in their country)
- Children as young as 11 are used as influencers to make North Korea look good
- One girl ‘from Pyongyang’ who goes by Song A reportedly grew up in London
- The videos always feature high praise for North Korea President Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un is using child ‘influencers’ as young as 11 to preach about their idyllic lives on social media in a bid to spread North Korean propaganda to the world.
Despite being one of the world’s most isolated nations – where the internet is banned and tourism is strictly managed – these young girls try to sell North Korea as a flourishing nation filled with endless opportunities.
Speaking perfect English, one 11-year-old girl who goes by Song A, has racked up more than 30,000 subscribers, while her introductory video has been watched over half a million times.
Wearing a flowery dress in her pink bedroom, with rows of books and teddy bears behind her, Song A says: ‘Pyongyang, where I live, is a very beautiful and magnificent city. Have you ever been? If you come here you will be totally surprised.’
North Korea’s new leading influencer, who reportedly grew up in London, is part of a wave of young YouTubers vlogging everyday life in Pyongyang, including trips to theme parks, water parks and even ice cream shops.
Kim Jong Un (pictured with daughter on April 15) is using child ‘influencers’ as young as 11 to preach about their idyllic lives on social media in a bid to spread North Korean propaganda to the world
Wearing a flowery dress in her pink bedroom, with rows of books and teddy bears behind her, Song A (pictured) says: ‘Pyongyang, where I live, is a very beautiful and magnificent city. Have you ever been? If you come here you will be totally surprised.’
Song A (pictured), who is believed to be the daughter of a North Korean diplomat who worked in London, talks about Harry Potter being her favourite book
North Korea’s new leading influencer, who reportedly grew up in London, is part of a wave of young YouTubers vlogging everyday life in Pyongyang
Song A, who is believed to be the daughter of a North Korean diplomat who worked in London, reveals that the reason for her fluent English is because her mother taught her the language from a very young age.
As she shows off her English by naming different parts of the body, her eyes can be seen darting to one side while it often sounds as though she is reading from something behind the camera.
READ MORE: Nuke-mad Kim Jong Un has two skyscrapers built that look like his ‘most powerful’ missiles
She then adds: ‘My favourite book is Harry Potter written by J.K Rowling. I bet your favourite book is Harry Potter too. Next time let’s challenge who knows more about Harry Potter.’
During the pandemic, when North Korea was accused of covering up accurate Covid-19 statistics, Song A said in a video: ‘Everything is under control as it used to be and everyone is just fine.’
For decades, North Korea has been closed off from other nations, with access to information and the outside world prevented and citizens lack the right to free expression.
In fact, in March, it was reported a North Korean agent would face a firing squad after he was caught using his internet privileges to ‘google’ Kim Jong Un.
Experts believe that these videos which keep cropping up ‘represent an attempt by Pyongyang to get people to like them’.
‘This, when they’ve spent most of their time up to now, encouraging the international community to be scared of them,’ Dr Colin Alexander, a Political Communications senior lecturer specialising in East Asian politics at Nottingham Trent, added.
He told MailOnline: ‘The videos themselves are interesting for several reasons. They tend to use females with the intention of creating a sense of the innocent. The younger girl speaks with a southern English (rather than American) accent.
‘This is both bemusing but also important. Perhaps Pyongyang sees this accent as an international signifier of integrity. There is mention of Harry Potter in an attempt to create bonds between young adults and children around the world.
‘Having been to North Korea I can tell you that most houses and streets look nothing like the one in the background to the young woman’s video.
‘Most people live in small and bare apartments and it’s rare to see cars outside of Pyongyang let alone ones parked in a driveway like on a suburban street in Europe or North America.’
Another female influencer, who goes by YuMi, posted a video of her trying out an ice cream shop
The video in which YuMi tries out different ice creams has been watched more than 150,000 times
The videos by the influencers always feature high praise for North Korea President Kim Jong Un
In more recent videos, Song A has taken trips to a science centre, a water park and a children’s hospital.
While filming herself with a selfie stick in the hospital, Song A tells viewers: ‘This is just like a palace which is ruled by children and guarded by nurses and doctors.
‘I thought the palace was a place for kings and queens and dancing and singing, but if you come here you would know that a palace for patients exists.’
Song A’s grandfather is thought to be Pak Myong Guk, part of North Korea’s foreign ministry while her great-grandfather, Ri Ul Sol, is understood to have been an elite military commander who guarded the Kim family.
As Song A’s channel continues to rake in subscribers, what has become clear is that she is not alone.
Another popular female influencer, who goes by YuMi, also shares videos showing North Korea off as a country filled with opportunity under the leadership of Kim Jong Un.
In one video by YuMi, which has been watched more than 150,000 times, the young influencer rifles through a fridge of ice creams in a small shop.
At the start of the video she says, ‘I feel a little bit nervous. Ok, here we go.’
For decades, North Korea has been closed off from other nations, with access to information and the outside world prevented. Pictured: Kim Jong Un and daughter on November 27, 2022
Kim Jong-un had two new skyscrapers built to resemble his ‘most powerful’ rocket in Pyongyang
Experts believe that these videos which keep cropping up are part of a push to create more ‘innovative’ propaganda. Pictured: Kim Jong Un and his daughter on April 14
Later on, she runs through the different flavours – including an ‘egg milk’ ice cream. While pulling out the next one and pointing at the packaging, she says: ‘This is milk flavour – the picture is so cute.’
After leaving the shop, she adds: ‘Almost all the ice creams you saw in the store are from the Oil General Health Drinks Factory.
‘It was built under the guidance of President Kim Jong Un, who wants to develop and produce more nutritious health drinks and nutritious food for the citizens of Pyongyang.’
But in reality, supplies seem to be limited with just a single row visible in a fridge behind her during her taste test. And tables are sparsely filled during a visit to a fresh fish market in another video.
Earlier this year, North Korea sources described chronic food shortages which have stemmed from the pandemic and sanctions imposed against the country amid Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.
YuMi has also been posting regular videos, including vlogging about new streets, performances, restaurants and gyms.
People walk in the street near the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, North Korea, on November 25, 2021
They all come under her ‘tour series’ where she explores different parts of North Korea.
While filming a workout at the gym, she sits down to explain: ‘President Kim Jong Un turned it [the building] into a modern fitness centre.
‘After that, he gave concrete guidance on the spot and made sure it was built into a comprehensive centre for physical training and curative gymnastics.’
Park Seong-cheol, a researcher at the Database Centre for North Korean Human Rights, told CNN that YuMi’s videos ‘look like a well-prepared play scripted by the North Korean government’.
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