Official, government-run Twitter and Flickr account in North Korea have been hacked by a team of hackers thought to be Anonymous activists.
North Korea usually uses social media to send out propagandist content from the Pyongyang regime, including pictures of Kim Jong-un, praise of its systems and its leaders or to further publicise commentary published by the official Central News Agency.
The hackers, allegedly part of “Operation Free Korea”, have called for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to step down and be replaced by a democratic government, as well as demanding uncensored internet access for the North Korean people.
Uriminzokkiri’s Twitter feed begin to display messages from the activists around 7am BST, when the account’s avatar was also changed to an image of two people dancing in the Guy Fawkes Anonymous masks with the caption “tango down”.
The tweets began with the word “hacked” repeatedly followed by links to North Korea-related websites. In the midst of that a tweet bearing the same “tango down” slogan sported a link to the North Korean Flickr page.
On the Flickr page, Anonymous has posted the Twitter avatar picture, a black image bearing white lettering that reads “We are Anonymous” and a wanted poster mocking Kim Jong-un “A.K.A Nuke Nuke Mickey Lover”. Beneath the modified picture of Kim Jong-un’s face complete with pig ears, snout and a Mickey Mouse tattoo on his chest, the text lists his crimes as “Threatening world peace with ICBMs and Nuclear weapons | Wasting money while his people starve to death | Concentration Camps and the worst human rights violation in the world.”
“To the citizens of North Korea we suggest to rise up and bring [this] oppressive government down!”, wrote Anonymous members in an online post. “We are holding your back and your hand, while you take the journey to freedom, democracy and peace.”
“You are not alone. Don’t fear us, we are not terrorist [sic], we are the good guys from the internet. AnonKorea and all the other Anons are here to set you free.”
With tensions currently running high, North Korea has already warned it has authorised plans for nuclear targets on the US, with US defence secretary Chuck Hagel admitting the country posed “a real and clear danger” to Japan, America and South Korea.