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North Korea’s Twitter account follows one American—the world’s biggest Coldplay fan

AP/David Guttenfelder
North Koren students cannot access the global internet without special permission from the government
By Christopher Mims
AustinPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The death threats started after the first time Jimmy Dushku tweeted back at North Korea’s official Twitter account, @uriminzok. He’s the only American followed by the official Twitter mouthpiece of the Hermit Kingdom, and the only active Twitter account out of the three that North Korea follows. He is also an independently wealthy, 25-year-old investor and, according to some, the world’s biggest Coldplay fan. (He has attended and meticulously documented his attendance at nearly 60 Coldplay concerts.)

His message was straightforward: 좋은 하루 되세요 내 친구, which means “Have a nice day, my friend.”

As reported in a surreal piece by Asawin Suebsaeng in Mother Jones, the death threats mainly came from strangers who were convinced he was a sympathizer with North Korea’s oppressive regime—or even a secret agent. Dushku came to fear for his life.

And yet, instead of blocking @uriminzok, he has developed what he describes as a deep interest in North Korea. He even has a standing invitation to visit the country, where he would like to see the annual gymnastics festival that honors the Korean People’s Army, the country’s dead leaders, and of course the ruling party.

North Korea’s seemingly random choice of whom to follow on Twitter appears to be unique to the country. Other public figures, such as the Pope, are careful to follow only their own related, official accounts. And the official Twitter account for news about Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, follows no one at all. (He’s also on Facebook, but as a page, and pages don’t have Facebook friends.) The White House follows 168 different Twitter accounts, but all appear to be either US government agencies or current and former officials.

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