North Korea's Internet Revealed To Have Just 28 Websites

North Korea's Internet Revealed To Have Just 28 Websites

North Korea notoriously restricts access to the internet for its citizens, but it does, in fact, maintain some websites which can be seen outside the country.

Most of these sites have always been accessible outside North Korea but on Tuesday an exhaustive list was revealed apparently for the first time - turns out that there aren't that many.

The list, reportedly unveiled by a US-based engineer, reveals fewer than 30 websites.

The government-controlled internet is a lot smaller than was initially believed, containing just 28 websites in total, including an insurance company, sports website and site containing culinary information and recipes, according to information posted to GitHub.

Predictably, there is propaganda as well as more mundane ministry and tourism information, but you can also find North Korean recipes and films on there.

So how did this great unveiling happen?

It went like this: North Korea's main Domain Name System (DNS) server was sent a frequent and automated request by a US-based engineer for access to all the internet domains in the country, possibly merely out of mischief. The server is usually configured to reject this.

But for some reason - most likely by mistake - it obliged on one occasion, late on Tuesday. The engineer then posted the list online, TechCrunch reports.

North Korea watchers and analysts were already familiar with these sites but didn't know the extent of North Korea's online presence.

Kim Jong Un keeps tight control over information in the country (CREDIT: AP)

If you're in the mood for a film, is a website highlighting North Korea's film industry.

The Pyongyang International Film Festival is happening now and heavily promoted on the site with detailed instructions on how to take part. The three kinds of films you can watch at the festival are "art films, documentaries and animated movies".

When the engineer who found that momentary chink in the armour posted the list, it sparked a temporary frenzy within the tech forums.

But what it doesn't tell us is anything about North Korea's intranet - a mysterious and closed system for its citizens that doesn't connect to the internet, likely to be far more revealing about the workings of the state.

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