North Korea’s Maritime Administration (국가해사감독국) is the latest public institution to put a website on the global Internet.
It’s the first new Internet website from North Korea this year and joins a small handful of sites originating from servers in Pyongyang.
The site has Korean and English language versions and perhaps most interestingly, a searchable database of North Korea’s ships involved in international passage and personnel certified to operate them.
It’s probably the first use of Periscope, Twitter’s new video live streaming tool, from Pyongyang.
Coleen Baik, a designer who previously worked at Twitter, is in North Korea at the moment as part of the Women Cross DMZ movement. The group are in the headlines for their plan to cross from North Korea to South Korea at the border in Panmunjom, if both countries allow it. Right now that appears in jeopardy.
She’s been chronically the trip on Twitter, naturally, with photos and live video.
On the flight to Pyongyang with a little light reading. pic.twitter.com/rS1oZbhwon
— Coleen Baik (@colbay) May 19, 2015
North Korea is the second most-censored nation on earth, according to a new ranking by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
For anyone that knows North Korea or has been paying attention to press freedom studies and rankings, the news hardly comes as a surprise.
The government has complete control over the news media, which is limited to a handful of outlets that all report and reflect the official viewpoint. More >
North Korea has launched an e-commerce site on its nationwide intranet, KCNA said Wednesday.
The site, which is accessible via PC and mobile telephone, is called 옥류 (Okryu) and includes consumer goods, medicine and food items. Users can search for goods they want to buy and also schedule delivery, said KCNA.
Payments for the goods can be made with an e-money card. More >
In late December, just a few days after the U.S. government accused North Korea of being behind the hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, North Korea’s sole connection to the Internet was disrupted for nine and a half hours.
At the time, there was speculation that the American government might be behind the action, especially as President Barack Obama had promised retaliation, but it was equally possible that a third-party group or technical problems were to blame. After all, it was far from the first time that North Korea’s Internet connection has gone down. More >
North Korea’s Internet connection is experiencing problems again, leading to difficulties in connecting to North Korean websites from outside of the country, according to data from Dyn Research. Users inside North Korea are also presumably having trouble reaching sites in the rest of the world.
The problems began just after 3am UTC and continued for several hours, as can be seen in this graph below. More >
A bizarre attempt to raise $10 million to fund a coup in North Korea appears to have ended shortly after it began.
A fund-raising campaign asking for money to “Help Bring Freedom to North Korea” was posted on Indiegogo on January 18, but several days later was deleted from the site.
Greater access to information, particularly the Internet, will likely prove to be what ends the rule of North Korea’s regime, President Obama said last week in an interview.
Speaking to YouTube creators during an event at The White House, Obama said military options against the country were limited, in part because of the potential damage that South Korea could suffer in a conflict.
“Our capacity to affect change in North Korea is somewhat limited because you got a million person army and they have nuclear technologies and missiles,” said Obama. “That’s all they spend their money on essentially, is on their war machine, and we’ve got an ally of South Korea right next door that if there were a war a would be severely affected.” More >