KP domain switch came after KCC Europe disappeared

North Korea’s dot-kp top-level Internet domain was reassigned after the company running it, KCC Europe, ended service and went months without replying to queries from Pyongyang, according to a report released this week.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which oversees country-level domains and the IP address system, switched control of dot-kp from the Korea Computer Center to Star Joint Venture earlier this month. Star JV is the DPRK-Thai company that’s been putting Internet connectivity into Pyongyang.

The story of the domain change and what happened with KCC Europe is covered in a piece I wrote earlier today: North Korea’s Internet domain is in new hands

Here’s the chronology of events, as outlined by IANA:

In 2010, the authoritative name servers for the .KP became completely lame, effectively stopping the top-level domain from operating. Korea Computer Center reached out to KCC Europe (KCCE), its Germany-based technical registry provider, to have service reinstated. After several months without response, Korea Computer Center terminated KCCE’s agreement to operate the .KP domain.

In the mean time, Star Joint Venture Company set to work in late 2010 to develop the requisite infrastructure in the country to support operation of the .KP domain. It was subsequently endorsed by the DPRK Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications to transfer operation of the domain from Korea Computer Center to Star Joint Venture Company.

In light of the continuing lack of operation of the .KP, KCC supported an interim change of the nameserver records for the .KP to a new set managed by Star Joint Venture Company. This interim change was conducted in December 2010 in order to restore functionality of the .KP top-level domain.

When it came time to make the official change, there wasn’t anything to dispute, said IANA.

The request to redelegate the .KP top-level domain is supported by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. A letter of authorisation was transmitted jointly by Mr H.E. Ryu Yong Sop, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications; and Mr Han U Chol, the Director-General of the Korea Computer Center.

I’ve tried several times over the last few months to contact Jan Holtermann, the German businessman behind KCC Europe, but I’ve never been able to get a response.

The KCC Europe website is still up, but the company went into liquidation on January 31 this year, according to a notice in the German business register. (Search for business HRB 88306)

KCC Europe GmbH, Berlin, Bundesallee 26, 10717 Berlin. Sitz / Zweigniederlassung: Geschäftsanschrift:; Bundesallee 26, 10717 Berlin Vertretungsregelung: Ist ein Liquidator bestellt, so vertritt er die Gesellschaft allein. Sind mehrere Liquidatoren bestellt, wird die Gesellschaft durch sämtliche Liquidatoren gemeinsam vertreten. Einzelvertretungsbefugnis kann erteilt werden. Liquidator:; 2. Bokop, Jens, *27.08.1983, Berlin; Nicht mehr Geschäftsführer:; 1. Holtermann, Jan Rechtsverhaeltnis: Durch Beschluss der Gesellschafterversammlung vom 26.01.2011 ist die Gesellschaft mit Ablauf des 31.01.2011 aufgelöst.

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