U.S. Web users are searching for information about North Korea with astounding, unprecedented frequency, The Washington Post’s Chico Harlan reports today. Google searches for “North Korea” are seven times the previous peak, during the country’s 2006 nuclear test, Harlan writes. Last week, North Korea was the third most-popular term on Twitter, following Easter and Good Friday.
U.S. Google searches for information about North Korea are outpacing even those for President Obama or for pop superstar Beyonce. Data from Google Trends, which compares the frequency with which users search for terms, show interest in North Korea skyrocketing over the past two weeks. Searches peaked April 4, two days after North Korea announced it would restart its plutonium nuclear plant and almost a week after it released a photo showing a “U.S. Mainland Strike Plan.”
The chart at the top of this page shows U.S. Google searches over the past 30 days for North Korea, Beyonce and Obama. Kim Jong Un’s pariah state doesn’t often come close to such big, better-known names, so this surge is very unusual.