In the initial excitement of EXO’s grand unveiling of their new promotional social media accounts, it was made known by many news outlets that there was twitter activity showing up on a trendsmap in North Korea.
While it may have appeared to be a worthy piece of news to report, your Admins would like to explain why we feel it was dangerous for our fellow EXOLs.
Initially after seeing this article, your Admins made the following statements on their Twitter accounts as did many EXOLs.
Your Admin Pisces even reached out to AllKpop to request that the article be removed for worry that the spots on the map where North Korean EXOLs locations were made obvious would make them vulnerable to severe disciplinary action.
The photo displayed above is a still shot taken from a gif included in many tweets spread throughout the Twitterverse to celebrate the unveiling of @weareoneEXO, the aforementioned promotional Twitter account similar in use and purpose as EXO’s previous account @PathcodeEXO. @PathcodeEXO officially debuted March 18, 2015 less than a week prior to EXO’s spring comeback “Call Me Baby” on March 27, 2015. And similar to @PathcodeEXO, @weareoneEXO debuted July 8, ten days prior to the grand summer comeback of the highly anticipated album KoKoBop scheduled for digital release on July 18th and physical release in July 19th.
While it was exciting for many EXOLs to tweet about the account (especially because of the official KoKoBop hashtag!) and to see the mostly positive response EXO’s account received, it was unnerving to discover that the spotlight was suddenly shined on where our North Korean EXOLs were tweeting from as indicated below.
Following your Admin Pisces’ submission of the tip to AllKpop requesting the removal of the article, this was the response she received:
Contrary to what this Chief Operating Officer perceives as a minor issue, even the article he cited for your Admin Pisces to review also indicated that the consequences doled out for North Korean citizens caught viewing/possessing South Korean media/products were no laughing matter.
(An aside but it also appears that AllKpop used the same photo from this SBS article…)
A rough translation of what was discussed in specific parts of this article were further causes for concern of the obvious lack of consideration displayed by the news outlets that reported this story.
Further investigation into what the North Korean Penal Code specifically states revealed truly disheartening, deplorable news.
North Korea has been cited by the Human Rights Watch, the Committee for Human rights in North Korea, the United Nations, and Amnesty International for many years for numerous violations upon their own citizens for complete, and total disregard of global standards of human rights. Although the mass excitement and reach of the Hallyu Wave has also reached North Korea and it is known as detailed above that there are several known sources of contraband circulating North Korea, authorities still see possession and engagement as a punishable offense by law.
Considering the round about way that many of these items are collected, distributed and consumed there is reason for concern about the lack of discretion displayed by the media while reporting this story.
Of course their job is to be right on top of the buzzing news and deliver it to us as soon as it’s occurring if not while it’s occurring but why was there such a lack of care shown?
It is remarkable that North Korean citizens would go to such lengths but they shouldn’t be unprotected and put at risk just so you can have an astronomical amount of page views THAT day.
For all the research done discovering where exactly the North Korean citizens’ locations were, you would think these same media outlets would have looked into the very real consequences that these same North Korean citizens (our dear fellow EXOLs) would face if they were discovered and would have at least not mentioned exactly where they were.
You know, care for your fellow man and woman and human being and all that jazz.
When you see things like this speak up EXOLs.
Its the right thing to do.