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Army unit orders removal of ‘pro-North Korea’ apps

An Army unit recently ordered its officers with smartphones to delete applications considered pro-North Korea and critical of the South Korean government, the second such crackdown revealed in the past week, officials said Monday.

According to officials, the commander of the Sixth Army Corps handed down the order to a subordinate unit on Jan. 17, with a list of four pro-North Korean apps and six apps critical of the Lee Myung-bak administration.

The belated disclosure comes on the heels of a similar order made by another Army unit, under the Army Logistics Command, which was revealed last Friday. Officers there were told to delete and not to download smartphone applications considered pro-North Korea.

The Sixth Army Corps’ list of critical apps includes “Naneun Ggomsuda,” or “I’m a Petty-minded Creep,” a political satire program known for its hard-hitting criticism of the Lee government.

Other designated apps include “Smart Card,” which offers criticism of Seoul’s policy on unification, and “North Korea World,” which provides travel information for North Korea.

Earlier, the unit under the logistics command had put together a list of eight pro-North Korean apps, including “Naneun Ggomsuda.”

The decision generated controversy because the podcast program, for all its criticism of the current government, hasn’t directly supported North Korea.

Officials said that 10 days after the Sixth Army Corps issued the order on Jan. 17, the subordinate unit ran a security check and inspected individual officers’ smartphones under consent.

“With the head of the corps stressing security, a member of his staff appears to have made the list,” an Army official said. “We have not found similar moves in other Army units.” 

(Yonhap News)
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