South Korea steps up blocking of DPRK sites
South Korea has begun blocking Naenara and several of its sub-sites. The move comes days after the site reactivated its dot-kp North Korean domain name and plugs a long-standing hole in South Korea’s cyber wall against North Korean online propaganda.
The blocking, first reported by Yonhap, results in South Korean Internet users being redirected to the National Police Agency’s warning site (pictured right.)
It has also taken out the Korea Sports Fund’s Faster Korea page, an out-of-date page for the Pyongyang International Trade Fair, and the sites of the Cholsan Patent and Trademark Agency and Koryo PAT Rainbow patent agency.
Naenara is produced by Pyongyang’s Korea Computer Center and consists largely of news and information about North Korea. It’s available in nine languages: Korea, English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic.
The site was previously available via a server in Germany, but it disappeared in 2010 when North Korea’s dot-kp domain names also went offline. The site returned in late October, via a server that appears to be in North Korea. This week its dot-kp domain name was reactivated.
Despite its carriage of Korean-language news and propaganda from the north, the site remained available in South Korea for just-over two months since late October.
South Korea’s blocking doesn’t seem to have affected access to friend.com.kp, the home page of North Korea’s Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. The site appears to be hosted on the same server as Naenara, so the blocking doesn’t appear to be at the IP address level.
The North Korean Website List has been updated to reflect the new blocking.