By Emma Batha
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As a schoolgirl in North Korea, Lee Hyeon-seo was forced to watch executions, denounce her friends for fabricated transgressions and dig tunnels in case of a nuclear attack.
But Lee and her classmates grew up convinced they lived in the “greatest nation on earth” run by a benevolent god-like leader whom they loved in the way many children love Santa Claus.
It wasn’t until she left North Korea at the age of 17 that she began to discover the full horror of the government that had fed her propaganda since birth.
Not much is known about North Korea’s intranet — the Internet-like system that links up libraries, universities and other organizations throughout the country but goes no further than the country’s borders.
Few foreigners get a chance to access it and delve into the websites and services it offers, but thanks to sharp-eyed Aram Pan and his DPRK360 Facebook page, we now know a little more.
The Singaporean photographer spotted this poster on the wall of the e-library in Rason in the country’s north east. It details some of the sites available from computers in the facility.
North Korea has at least two more satellites ready to fly “at any time,” two of the country’s space scientists have told CNN in an interesting interview conducted in Pyongyang.
The interview builds on one given a month ago to The Associated Press during which one of the two National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) officials said it was developing a more advanced satellite than one launched in late 2012.
Both interviews appear to be part of the country’s build-up to a launch that experts outside the country predict will occur later this year.
By James Pearson
SEOUL (Reuters) – Designer shirts, duty free watches and cosmetics, and chocolate fondue will soon await visitors to North Korea, according to photos of Pyongyang’s new airport terminal released by state media on June 24.
Three pages of Thursday’s ruling Workers’ Party official daily newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, were devoted to images of leader Kim Jong Un and his wife inspecting shops, restaurants and waiting areas in a large, glass-fronted terminal building state media said would open on July 1.
The design of the website of North Korea’s main daily newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, was refreshed on Monday.
The new site has fewer pictures on the front page and leads with a list of stories.
And being North Korean, features detailing the work of Kim Jong Un receive top billing.
By James Pearson
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has warned foreigners living in Pyongyang not to share outside media on memory sticks with its citizens, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a note, cracking down on what the isolated country called “undesirable content”.
The vast majority of North Koreans have no access to outside Internet or foreign media, but people regularly share films, music and literature on easily-concealed USB sticks that are passed from person to person.
Tokyo’s best source of North Korean books is no more.
The Korea Book Center has shuttered its website a month after its physical store was closed.
The store in the Hakusan neighborhood was operated by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, better known locally as “Chosen Soren,” and provided a place to pick up books, CD-ROMs, VHS tapes and DVDs published in North Korea.