Pyongyang Broadcasting Station (평양방송), North Korea’s Korean-language radio station aimed at nearby countries, is launching a website this week, according to announcements made Tuesday on domestic and international broadcasts.
The new website will be called “Grand National Unity” and will be available at www.gnu.rep.kp from February 1st, according to the announcements. That site currently holds a test page for the Apache web server.
The site is the latest from the country carrying national news and propaganda to international audiences. While its adoption of the Internet for propagation of information has been slow, it has been steady and new sites have slowly been appearing. Other More >
Google’s on a bit of a North Korean kick at the moment. Just weeks after its chairman, Eric Schmidt, made a high-profile visit to Pyongyang, the company has added additional detail about the county to Google Maps.
Roads, subway stations, parks and some major monuments and buildings are on the new map, which became available on Monday.
Google typically buys such information from local providers but in countries like North Korea where commercial digital maps are not available, it relies on citizen submissions made through Google Map Maker. That’s exactly how the company compiled this first version of its map.
Look at the More >
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has posted some thoughts on his recent trip to Pyongyang. The comments appeared on his Google Plus page on Saturday, the same day his daughter also posted her impressions of the trip.
The executive’s comments won’t provide any big revelations, at least they shouldn’t to readers of this blog. He generally reiterates that it was a private visit aimed at exploring some of the technology in North Korea and exchanging views with local officials.
On his arrival in Beijing after leaving Pyongyang, Schmidt told reporters he had advised the North Koreans to open up to the Internet. If More >
Sophie Schmidt, the daughter of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, has written a comprehensive blog post about her recent trip to Pyongyang and included in her revelations: North Korean officials seemed to acknowledge they can’t keep the Internet out.
The posting is perhaps the most complete account yet of the visit by any member of the group, which went around Pyongyang largely unobserved except by local Associated Press reporters.
In the post, entitled “Sophie in North Korea,” Sophie Schmidt writes about the impressions she got of the city, country and sights she saw on the More >
Just over a week since the Korean Central News Agency completed a major overhaul of its website, several elements of the new site have been changed.
The changes address a couple of things that surprised me when I first reviewed the site on January 5.
The first is the addition of a Juche date.
The date is typically listed in North Korean with a Juche year, then perhaps the western year in parathesis. Juche is the spirit of self reliance on which Kim Il Sung founded the country, and the Juche year refers to the number of years since the birth of Kim More >
KCNA, North Korea’s state-run news agency, has relaunched its web site.
The site, which is one of only a handful hosted in Pyongyang, was first launched in late 2010 and has been redesigned a couple of times since it first went online. The new design, which appears to have debuted on January 4, is perhaps the slickest yet from an organization best know for its propaganda output.
The redesign doesn’t appear to have brought with it any new content areas or languages — at least, not yet — but there are a few things worth noting.
The first, and perhaps most striking for More >
Park Jung-geun, a Seoul-based photographer and free-speech activist, has received a 10-month suspended prison sentence for retweeting North Korean tweets.
The case, one of several that has drawn international attention to South Korean Internet censorship, has been going on for the better part of a year and was being closely watched for its interpretation of how South Korea’s National Security Act extends to Twitter.
The law targets those who “praise, encourage, disseminate or cooperate” with anti-social groups, in this case the North Korean government. Access to many North Korean websites and other Internet resources are blocked to South Korean Internet connections under the law.
Blocking Twitter More >
A lot of the stories have noted the airline’s one-star rating on Skytrax, a web site which generates ranking from user reviews, although it should be noted there are plenty of positive reviews on the site. No one’s talking about the booking web site yet so there’s not much to go on, but it does have a couple of technical problems.
The site appears to be running on its own web server in Pyongyang. That’s interesting More >
On the right of the home page you’ll find a link to a new resource on North Korea Tech: a listing YouTube channels associated with North Korea.
The first North Korea-related channel came online in 2006 and more have followed. In the last couple of years the posting of videos by Uriminzokkiri, the Pyongyang-linked site based in China, and the government-run KCNA news agency has increased the amount of official video online.
There a four major channels that have attracted the vast majority of views and then a handful of smaller ones.
I’ve also listed four additional channels that provide a more analytical More >
Voice of Korea, the DPRK’s international shortwave radio service, has started telling its listeners it has an email address.
The radio station opened a web site more than a year ago but never advertised an email address and continued to ask listeners to send messages via postal mail.
Now it says it is accepting emails at firstname.lastname@example.org, according to Arnulf Piontek in Berlin, who supplied a copy of the letter (below).
It says, “The address will help further developing the friendly relations between our broadcast and listeners.”
I tried sending an email to the address but it bounced back with an error “Unknown address More >