North Korea’s newest website, Great National Unity, launched Thursday.
The site is supposedly run by Pyongyang Broadcasting Station, the country’s radio station that targets Korean-language speakers in South Korea, Japan and China, and its imminent launch was announced by state radio earlier this week.
At first glance, the site appears largely consistent with web design on other North Korean websites. There are North Korean scenes, flowers, a map of the unified country and news stories about inter-Korean politics.
Perhaps one of the most interesting areas is a grid of views on the lower right hand side of the screen from Korea Central Television. Unfortunately, the nightly news isn’t featured among them.
They play in a Flash video player — not a proprietary format like the Voice of Korea streaming audio — and the quality isn’t bad, although it isn’t great either.
Visitors will also find some audio clips and photos.
But, at least on first glance, there isn’t much on this site that can’t already be found on North Korea’s other websites.
In terms of technology, the site appears to be running on the same webserver that hosts several other Noth Korean sites, including Voice of Korea and the Naenara portal.
The server is running on CentOS, a free Linux-based operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
The nightly news is usually posted every day over at uriminzokki.com. Look around 2/3s down the home page for this graphic
The quality is usually quite good – near standard definition broadcast quality.
PS to my last comment: Video number 548 is last nights (31st Jan) 8PM TV news.
Mark, Nice find. I didn’t realize they had such high quality video. It looks much nicer than the clips on YouTube. Thanks
One thing I don’t understand about the new site: why does it load new content into the main page, rather than open a new page? The new KCNA website does the same thing: clicking on a link doesn’t open a new page, but rather loads the story content within the main page. (I.e. the web address is static for all of the content.) Could you take a guess as to why they would have designed the sites that way?
I think it’s just a web design choice. One of the benefits of giving each story it’s own URL is that it allows direct links. That’s something you want to encourage on a site to drive more traffic, but obviously such concerns aren’t at the forefront of the web team at KCNA or any of these sites.