Kim Il Sung University, North Korea’s most prestigious seat of higher learning, has become the first university in the country to launch a website on the global Internet.
The site is available in Korean and English and is being served from a computer in Pyongyang. It joins a handful of other websites that are run by the North Korean government and accessible from outside of the country.
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A website that on first glance closely resembled that of the state-run Korean Central News Agency, but in fact pointed to news articles critical of the country appears to be been taken offline.
On Thursday lunchtime (Korean time) the site disappeared to be replaced with an “account suspended” notice.
Kwangmyong, North Korea’s online information service, has been upgraded.
The network serves scientific and technological information and has been expanded with a new search function that includes a translation function, according to a recent article on Naenara, the website of Pyongyang’s Korea Computer Center.
North Korea has begun blocking access to Twitter and Facebook on domestic Internet connections offered to foreigners, according to a report last week.
If correct, the move is apparently the first active blocking of Internet access by the North Korean government and comes at a time when it appears to be slowly tightening the screws on outflow of information via foreigners and tourists.
The games were offered through South Korean sites between May 19 and September 16 this year, the National Intelligence Service said in a report to parliament.
The apps have since been removed and the actual number of phones infected is unclear.
North Korea has banned the use of satellite Internet connections and WiFi networks by foreign embassies and international organizations unless they get government approval.
The switch, which came in mid August, gives credibility to an earlier report that unencrypted wireless networks at embassies were being used by North Korean citizens to gain uncensored access to the Internet.
Foreign missions and aid agencies were notified of the change in policy on August 20 in a communique from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the full text of which was published on Monday by NK News. More >