North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). We were under no illusion that the people of North Korea spend their days scrolling through Reddit and Twitter.
But now a major slip up has revealed the true extent of their internet access.
On 19 September techies at GitHub noticed that North Korea’s top level nameservers had been accidentally configured to allow global DNS zone transfers, meaning the rest of us could finally see what internet in the secretive country is really like.
The screenshots shown below have been retrieved using Google Translate (so they are displayed in English) through HN [Hacker News] and publicly posted to threads on Imgur and Reddit.
1. Air Koryo
A flight ticket website for domestic and international travel.
2. Korean Central News Agency
A news website with Korean, English, Spanish and Japanese language news from the state-run news agency.
3. Korean People Total Insurance Company
Website of North Korea’s state insurer.
4. Korean Association Of Cooks
Culinary website with recipes.
5. Korean International Youth And Children’s Travel Company
A travel and tourism company for young people.
It was believed that Friend was a social media platform, similar to Facebook.
But Reddit user Sherm and North Korea Tech said: “Friend is the website of their committee for cultural relations, the org that does their PR in foreign countries.”
Naenara is the closest that North Korea comes to having an ‘official’ multi-language government website in English.
It has an overview of the country, and lots of news articles from Pyongyang’s Computer Centre. You can also download ebooks and tourist information.
8. National Unity
According to North Korea Tech it is a Pyongyang Broadcasting Station: a Korean-language radio station targeted at nearby countries.
9. Maritime Administration Of Korea
A list of maritime laws for waterways in North Korea.
10. Korea Tourism
The official website of the North Korean Tourism board.
11. Korean Association Of Social Scientists
An education website for both school and adult education courses.
12. Korea Education Fund
Website of North Korea’s Korea Education Fund, to increase the quality of education.
13. International Film Festival
The website for the Pyongyang International film festival, KorFilms, and promoting North Korean culture.
14. Korea Elderly Care Fund
Website of North Korea’s Elderly Care Fund – a charity.
15. Kim II Sung University
The website for the university in Pyongyang.
Home page of the newspaper of the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party of Korea and a section on the ‘Supreme Leader’s Upcoming Activities’.
17. Sports Chosun
A website for coverage of sporting events in North Korea, features some coverage of the Olympics in Rio 2016.
18. Voice Of Korea
An international shortwave broadcaster, distributing news and bulletins.
There are 10 other websites that have been leaked, but they are currently inaccessible and their identity unknown.