North Korea erases official history

Last updated 16:08 17/12/2013

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North Korea has deleted almost all of the state news archive contained on the Korea Central News Agency website, days after a brutal purge, according to a North Korea-observation website.

Washington-based NKNews.org originally reported that KCNA had deleted 35,000 articles from before October, as well as 20,000 articles on the website of the official newspaper of the Workers' Party, Rodong Sinmun.On Tuesday morning the NKNews.org website was knocked offline and unreachable.

The articles taken down from KCNA included 'major events' about the country's recent history including the announcement of Kim Jong-Il's death in 2011, the father of the current leader Kim Jong-un.

"There were 35,000 articles dated September 2013 or earlier on KCNA in Korean," said Frank Feinstein, a New Zealand-based analyst who tracks North Korea's for NKNews.org. "If they are leaving the odd one in, it is still a kill ratio of 98 per cent to 99 per cent," he said in a webpost.

"This is calculated," said Mr Feinstein, referring to the deletions from the two sites. "It means the order most likely came from above the individual agencies. That is why it is so interesting, it is a not just an internal KCNA purge."

The scrubbing of the archives history comes days after the brutal purge of Kim's once-powerful uncle Jang Song-thaek, who was dragged from an assembly and was later put to death.

The shake-up in North Korea's regime has set off fears of more regional instability, such as the kind seen around the time the younger Kim assumed power following his father's death. The period included missile launches and a stream of provocative statements aimed at the US, which prompted a show of military force by the US and calls for calm from the regional neighbours.

Sixty years after a cease-fire halted the Korean War, North Korea remains diplomatically and economically isolated with reports of starvation and human rights abuses frequently levelled at the repressive nation. 

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- AP

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