Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party of Korea and one of the most important propaganda tools of the DPRK government, has launched a website.
The site was first reported on Thursday although appears to have been officially launched a day earlier on Feb. 16, which was Kim Jong Il’s 69th birthday. DNS (domain name system) records for the site, at www.rodong.rep.kp, which are required for public access to the server, first appeared on Feb. 16.
The website appears to contain the full text of each day’s newspaper and stories back to Jan. 1, 2011. Each day’s newspaper is also available as a color PDF file.
The site is hosted on the same server that carries the Korea Computer Center’s Naenara site and the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries home page. The server is believed to be located in Pyongyang.
Articles from the Rodong Sinmun have previously been available through Uriminzokkiri, a China-based site that carries official news and commentary from Pyongyang, but the availability of PDF reproductions of each’s day newspaper is likely to be of considerable interest to North Korean researchers.
The site is the latest in a string of new home pages to be launch by Pyongyang in the last six months. North Korea’s first full Internet connection was made earlier in 2010 and the country restarted the national dot-kp domain name earlier this year.
With German DNS servers (I tried about six, also from freedom of information organisations) the website seems to be down, wondering if they are being censored or if there is another problem (usually the DNS servers should send the request further if they do not know it…). Some answered „no answer“, most answered „NXDOMAIN“
With OpenDNS servers, it works fine.
Edit: OpenDNS at least finds the IP, but when requesting the website via HTTP I get the error: „You tried to visit rodong.rep.kp, which is not loading.“
However, calling the page via different on-page proxies (anonymizer websites) worked. Any ideas?
It looks like the DNS update that added the name has been slow to propagate throughout the Internet.
I’ve had the same problems, but temporarily got around it by switching to Google’s DNS service.
For the last 24 hours I’ve had problems accessing the page even with the correct DNS. Naenara was also affected (it’s on the same server), so I think they had some kind of problem there.
I’m going to North Korea in September, so what is the best source of information to learn more about the country?