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 >
When the isolated country hosted dozens of reporters, athletes and minor celebrities at its International Pro-Wrestling Contest in Pyongyang at the weekend, opinions on the experience were mixed to say the least. We took a look at the coverage.
Daum has launched a North Korean mapping service, becoming the first South Korean portal to offer maps of the country’s northern neighbor.
The maps are based on data from South Korea’s National Geographic Information Institute (NGII) and, according to local media, provide greater coverage of North Korea than Google Maps.
You can check the maps out for yourself on Daum’s mapping site.
The NGII’s data was previously available to South Korean government agencies and went on sale to the public in mid 2013. NGII offered the map, produced at a 1:25,000 scale, for 17,500 won (US$17).
It covers all of North Korea, detailing towns, roads, railways and stations, buildings and other landmarks but excludes the area near the inter-Korean border. The South Korean government has imposed restrictions on mapping of the border region inside its territory for years. On Google Maps, the border area in South Korea appears in satellite pictures but is largely devoid of roads and other landmarks in the mapping function.
South Korea’s top court has upheld the acquittal of a free-speech activist for retweeting North Korean tweets, according to several local media reports.
Park Jung-geun, a Seoul-based photographer, was arrested under the country’s anti-communist National Security Law for a series of tweets posted in late 2010 and early 2011. They included retweets from Uriminzokkiri, a China-based website with close links to the regime in Pyongyang, and some in which Park had substituted his own face in revolutionary imagery (see below).
A closer look at the programming reveals it wasn’t the only part of the newscast that was given a new look.
The newspaper review, which is a staple of the early evening 5pm bulletin, also has a new graphics package and a much lighter musical intro. More >
The Gaofen-1 satellite has been used to discover “about 10″ such crossings both on the China-DPRK border and in the Xinjiang Uygur region of northwest China, said China Daily reported, quoting the China National Space Administration.
The satellite has also been used to spot poppy plantations in Heilongjiang and Hebei provinces, marijuana growing in Jilin province and suspected oil smuggling off the coast of Fujian province. More >