North Korea’s 28 Websites

As reported by IFLScience, North Korea accidentally revealed to the world on Monday, September 19, 2016, that it has but 28 websites.

A top-level server in North Korea was (presumably) mistakenly configured to allow outside access to Korea’s intranet (which end in .kp). The opening was detected by American cyber security personnel, but ended up on — where else? — Reddit. There are sites for news, cooking, insurance, water laws, flights and traveling, charity for the elderly, films, and sports. There is also a Facebook-esque site called “Friend.” Check them out on Reddit.

The communist dictatorship strictly controls television, radio, newspapers, and the internet, which in their limited capacities “pump out a steady stream of propaganda” (BBC). They

…serve up a menu of flattering reports about North Korea’s leader. Economic hardship and famines are not reported. North Korea is one of the hardest countries for foreign media to cover. Ordinary North Koreans caught listening to foreign broadcasts risk harsh punishments, such as forced labour. The authorities attempt to jam foreign-based and dissident radio stations.

North Korean media glorify dictator Kim Jong-un and his late father Kim Jong-Il, praise nuclear tests as a means toward “peace” and “sovereignty,” and criticize “US military threat and economic pressure” (IFLScience).

But North Korean citizens likely don’t have full access to these 28 sites. As BBC notes, “Online access within North Korea is exceedingly rare” and “user activity [is] monitored.”

The websites, to quote one astute observer on the internet, have the sophistication of an “elementary school” website, and take a long time to load. As IFLScience put it, North Korea’s internet is “very, very dull.”

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