DPRK gets second link to Internet
North Korea no longer relies on a single foreign telecom company to carry its Internet traffic to and from the rest of the world.
Ever since Star Joint Venture launched the country’s first fully-fledged Internet connection in 2010, North Korean traffic has flowed across the country’s northern border and through an interconnection with China Netcom. China Netcom is one of China’s largest Internet backbone providers.
In the last few days the country’s sole Internet operator has begun using an interconnection with Intelsat, the Washington-based international satellite operator, to offer a second route to its network.
Existence of the link was revealed through analysis and monitoring of BGP (border gateway protocol) messages. These are automated announcements that constantly flow between routers and switches that make up the global Internet backbone and help determine the constantly-changing web of thousands of connections that link service providers worldwide.
Until April 4, North Korea’s Star JV network had only announced a link via China Netcom. So, when you typed “www.kcna.kp” into your browser, routers at your service provider determined the best way to reach Pyongyang knowing the last-but-one stop would be China Netcom. Now there’s a choice.
A second route via Intelsat started appearing in BGP announcements from April 5 (around 6am local Pyongyang time).
Detected prefix: 188.8.131.52/24 , Announced by AS131279 (STAR-KP -- Ryugyong-dong) Detected upstream/next hop AS: AS22351(INTELSAT Intelsat Global BGP Routing Policy)
The new route provides some backup, should China Netcom have a problem, and means users in some countries might see faster connection times to hit North Korea’s handful of websites.
NorthKoreaTech analysis of traffic to sites like KCNA from points around the globe shows the majority of connections still appear to run via China Netcom, but some are being made through Intelsat.
Star JV, the service provider formed by the country’s telecom ministry and Thailand’s Loxley Pacific, remains tight-lipped about its plans. It’s unknown if this connection is a temporary one, perhaps for an anticipated surge in traffic around the April 15th anniversary of the 100 years since the birth of Kim Il Sung, or if it will continue.
No related posts.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Martyn Williams on April 8, 2012 at 01:57, and is filed under Internet. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No comments yet.
about 1 year ago - 4 comments
Hot on the heels of a series of attacks that have seen its Internet connectivity severely disrupted, the DPRK appears to be adding an additional route through which it links to the global Internet. The new link began appearing in Internet addressing tables on Monday and connects from Star, the country’s sole Internet service provider,…
about 1 year ago - 1 comment
The Internet disruption that affected North Korea’s Internet link earlier this week lasted almost two days, an Internet monitoring company said Friday. It began just before 0100 GMT on Wednesday — that’s 10am local time — and continued for much of the next day and a half. It then took several hours for traffic levels and…
about 1 year ago - 2 comments
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more bizarre than Dennis Rodman hugging Kim Jong Un, the operators of The Pirate Bay site claimed Monday that they are now running from the North Korean Internet. The Pirate Bay is one of the Internet’s longest surviving pirate sites. It links to Bit Torrent files of…
about 3 years ago - 4 comments
Cyber attacks against South Korean organizations have been much in the headlines in recent weeks. With each attempt to crash a web server, phish for private information or infiltrate a computer in South Korea, the country’s government points its finger of blame towards North Korea, but concrete evidence is often thin on the ground. Investigators…
about 3 years ago - 1 comment
A couple of new details about Star JV, the company now responsible for North Korea’s connection to the global Internet, came to light this week. They were included in a report from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) about the reassignment of the country’s dot-kp domain to Star JV. The report reveals the mission of…
about 3 years ago - No comments
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…
about 3 years ago - 2 comments
Control of North Korea’s dot-KP Internet top-level domain has been assigned to Star JV, the North Korean-Thai joint venture that’s behind the recent wiring of Pyongyang to the global Internet. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which administers country code domains, updated its database on Monday, May 2, to assign the KP domain to “Star…
about 3 years ago - 2 comments
In Pyongyang’s eastern suburb of Sadong lies one of North Korea’s gateways with the world. The satellite earth station, pictured below, links the country with international communications satellites. Construction of the earth station began in early 1984, a few months before North Korea joined the Soviet-led Intersputnik group. Back then, Intersputnik served as the satellite…
about 3 years ago - 2 comments
Free North Korea Radio, one of the handful of independent broadcasters targeting North Korea, attracted a direct connection to its website from inside the DPRK on Wednesday morning. The site said an incoming connection from North Korea was recorded between 9:30am and 10am on Wednesday morning. It included the following screenshot (see below) from its…
about 3 years ago - 5 comments
North Korea’s Dot-KP domain name system returned to the Internet in the last few days. (See the bottom of this post for updates.) Offline for months, the service has resumed via servers run by Star JV, the Internet joint venture formed by the North Korean government and Thailand’s Loxley Pacific. As reported previously, dot-kp was…