Internet odd-couple: North Korea and Jimmy Dushku

Entrepreneur Jimmy Dushku and the rest of the world have no clue why he is one of three Twitter users currently followed by North Korea.

North Korea, its leaders claim, is slowly crawling into the Internet age.

It recently courted Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and even has an official Twitter account.

That account, as of today, follows three users: the country of Vietnam (a socialist state), a North Korean propaganda group and a 25-year-old self-made investor and entrepreneur from Austin, Tex. named Jimmy Dushku, with whom it has been known to exchange pleasantries.

If you're scratching your head, you're not alone, because Jimmy Dushku, along with the rest of the world, has no clue why the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea — viewed by many as technologically backwards and unfriendly towards Westerners — follows him.

According to Mother Jones, who spoke with Dushku about the subject, the pair's Twitter relationship dates back to 2010.

"I was initially surprised, but I always try to make friends with people from all different locations and backgrounds," Dushku told Mother Jones, adding that while he didn't recall the exact roots of his relationship with the North Korean Twitter account, he did remember sending a few nice messages out of courtesy, such as, "Have a nice day."

Since then, Dushku has sent more greetings and a homemade video, which has since been deleted, to the North Korean account, which tweets from the handle "@Uriminzoks," translating to "our nation." Today, Dushku says the pair's relationship is amicable, and he claims to have a standing invitation to visit the country, a place that  is on the U.S. State Department's travel warning list.

The public perception of Dushku hasn’t always been so rosy, however. After word spread that he was the only individual being followed by the North Korean Twitter page, Dushku says he began receiving death threats and graphic messages in his inbox from users who called him a sympathizer, and theorized that he was a secret agent employed by the Korean Workers' Party.

"One person wrote in detail about how he was going to come to my house and hurt me; others tell me they hope I die, or that they will be the one to do it," Dushku told Mother Jones.

On Internet forums such as 4chan, users even attempted to publish Dushku's address along with other personal information. He told CBS News that he'd like for North Korea to unfollow him, but even if the nation does, it's unlikely that Dushku will vanish from the public eye.

Online, he's well-known as a diehard Coldplay fan, turning himself into a B-list Internet celebrity in the process. He told Mother Jones that he's been to roughly 60 of the band's live shows, which he's methodically captured on the photo-sharing website Flickr. At 25, he's already independently wealthy, owning homes in Austin and Los Angeles. According to Mother Jones, Dushku created a web development business at the age of 14. Today, he invests in European construction, American residential homes and mining and agriculture in Brazil and Peru.

Dushku likes to live lavishly. He rides private jets and Ducatis and has played golf with Dennis Quaid, who's a former neighbor of his. Justin Bieber's bodyguard, Kenny Hamilton, has even called Dushku his "homie" on Twitter.

Aside from with Dushku, North Korea's other forays into social media haven't always been so friendly, though they've come off as similarly vexing. Soon after joining the site, North Korean social media engineers fired off messages antagonizing and denouncing their South Korean neighbors.

The country's YouTube channel also has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most bizarre on the Internet. In the past it has posted videos of leader Kim Jong Un staring at fish in a supermarket, empty bowling alleys and dozens of soldiers playing kazoos.


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