Whoops: North Korea Accidentally Let the World See Its Internet — And It Only Has 28 Sites
It seems that a technical error in the hosting of the reclusive hermit kingdom allowed the world to have a glimpse at the never-before-seen world of the Internet — North Korea-style.
Based on what was captured, and subsequently revealed via Github, it seems that Kim Jong Un’s regime has allowed all of 28 websites to be registered, and many of those are apparently no longer functional.
Chances are that whoever let this leak out will be next in line for an execution via the wrath of Un, who has proven to be predictably petty and vindictive.
Someone in North Korea is in a lot of trouble.
The secretive state somehow accidentally opened access to all the websites hosted on its servers, revealing that it only has 28 registered domains.
On Monday at around 10 p.m. Pacific time, North Korea’s nameserver – that contains information about all of the “.kp” websites – was misconfigured, allowing it to be accessed. This meant Matthew Bryant, a researcher, was able to access the domain names and some of the file data about the site.
Bryant dumped all of this on Github – a site that hosts computer code. It’s the first real look into the secret online world of the hermit state North Korea.
Of course, the majority of the North Korean population lives under a cloud of repression, and they have little, if any, access to modern devices or the Internet.
The minute footprint the nation’s users do have is surely the most policed and censored in the world – and that’s saying quite a bit after factoring in the Great Firewall of China and censorship measures taken globally via Facebook and other large platforms.
Still… we’re supposed to be shaking in our boots believing that North Korea might nuke us when they can’t even Internet?
Here’s just a few of the screenshots, as posted by NorthKoreaTech.org. Most of the websites carry ridiculous propaganda celebrating their Dear Leader… but then again, what else would you expect?
And here is what North Korea considers “national insurance”:
Reddit posted a list, along with other information, about these curious sites from what is arguably the most isolated country on the planet. Here’s a list of all the websites and what they are in case the link doesn’t work anymore:
- http://airkoryo.com.kp – Air Koryo. A flight ticket website.
- http://cooks.org.kp – Korean Dishes. Culinary website with recipes.
- http://friend.com.kp – Friend. Appears to be something similar to Yahoo and MSN.
- http://gnu.rep.kp – National Unity. A sort of religious group or well-being group.
- http://kass.org.kp – Korean Association of Social Scientists. Not sure, but I think it’s an education website for both school and adult education courses… maybe.
- http://kcna.kp – Korean Central News Agency. Yet another news website.
- http://kiyctc.com.kp – Korean International Youth and Children’s Travel Company. I guess a travel company of both youth and children.
- http://knic.com.kp – Korean People Total Insurance Company. Insurance company.
- http://koredufund.org.kp – Korea Education Fund. Appears to be a charity to increase the quality of education.
- http://korelcfund.org.kp – Korea Elderly Care Fund. A charity for the elderly.
- http://korfilm.com.kp – KorFilms – Pyongang International Film Festival. The film website.
- http://ma.gov.kp – Maritime Administration of Korea. Laws of the water can be found here.
- http://masikryong.com.kp – currently can’t access
- http://naenara.com.kp – Naenara. – This is actually the “official” government site in the sense of a description of the country. It has plenty of news articles but it contains a decent amount of (tourist oriented?) information about the country (thanks /u/tinoh124 for the correction).
- http://nta.gov.kp – Korea Tourism. The Korean Tourism board, looks like you can get tours from here.
- http://portal.net.kp – currently can’t access
- http://rcc.net.kp – currently can’t access
- http://rep.kp – currently can’t access
- http://rodong.rep.kp – Rodong. Official news website. Click here to view the Rodong website in the user-friendly Western version, thanks again to /u/tinoh124 for this.
- http://ryongnamsan.edu.kp – Kim Il Sung University. – The university’s website.
- http://sdprk.org.kp – Sports Chosun. – The sports website.
- http://silibank.net.kp – currently can’t access
- http://star-co.net.kp – currently can’t access
- http://star-di.net.kp – currently can’t access
- http://star.co.kp – currently can’t access
- http://star.edu.kp – currently can’t access
- http://star.net.kp – currently can’t access
- http://vok.rep.kp – Voice Of Korea. A news website.