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North Korea is an enigma.

Since the end of the Korean war in 1953, it has existed as an isolated hermit kingdom, cut off from the rest of the world. Few tourists visit. It only recently normalized diplomatic relations with the Western World, and still isn’t on speaking terms with the United States. The buildings are faded and exist in a perpetual state of decay. Propaganda posters line the streets, and patriotic music constantly blares from sirens. It exists as a time capsule to a forgotten era. A Neo-Soviet playground.

But inside, there are people just like you and I. People with jobs, and families. People who live normal lives, in one of the least normal countries on the planet. And much as it is in the West, technology is a big part of that.

In North Korea’s isolation, they’ve developed their own Internet. Their own technology industry. Even their own tablet computers. And they’ve even used information technology and the Web as a weapon of war. A powerful tool to further their own foreign policy interests.

Here’s what digital life in the DPRK looks like.

Kwangmyong

In North Korea, there are two ‘Internets’.

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The first is what we understand to be the Internet; a global, chaotic, largely free network of servers and users. Most of whom are free to share, view and create content without first having to ask for permission.

Few North Koreans have access to that Internet. It’s mostly a handful of high-ranking and trusted government officials, academics and people working in selected industries. Indeed, the adoption of the standard Internet in North Korea is so low, the entire country only has 1,024 IP addresses in use. For context, South Korea has 112.32 million IPv4 addresses in use. Even the Pacific island of Palau, which has a population of 18,000, uses more IP addresses.

For everyone else, there’s Kwangmyong. Literally meaning ‘bright’, it acts as the World Wide Web for the rest of the country. But it’s not really World Wide, and it’s barely the web.

pyongyang-computer

Kwangmyong is a walled garden network of curated content that can be accessed through a dial-up connection, not entirely dissimilar to AOL in the 1990s. The content available is incredibly limited, with some estimates putting the number of websites on Kwangmyong in the thousands. Predictably, this mostly consists of state propaganda, as well as scientific and academic webpages that have been scraped from the open Internet, censored, and translated.

There’s also a very rudimentary social network, but very little is known about that. It was first seen by Jean Lee, the Associated Press’s Korea bureau chief, and (according to the Washington Post) the only American journalist able to regularly access the notoriously insular hermit kingdom. Lee described it more as a bulletin board than a social network as understood in the outside world, and it is apparently mostly used to send birthday wishes between university students and professors.

Kwangmyong also has an email function, which allows users to send messages to other users on the network. Given the opaque nature of the North Korea, little is known about this, but it’s safe to assume it’s heavily monitored to ensure it’s not used as tool for dissent.

Interestingly, Kwangmyong uses its own DNS system in order to resolve IP addresses to domain names, meaning there are certain top-level domains used within North Korea that aren’t used elsewhere.

Although Kwangmyong is officially free to use, in practice, very few people have access to it. This is mostly due to the high cost of computer hardware, especially in relation to North Korean wages. According to NKNews.org, the average North Korean earns between $25 and $30 USD per month. Even the most basic computer isn’t affordable.

Even if you are able to afford a computer, there are still bureaucratic hurdles to overcome before you can buy one. Computer ownership is tightly regulated. Anyone looking to purchase one requires a license (much as you would with a car), as well as permission from the government.

Another barrier to the adoption of Kwangmyong is the lackluster state of the DPRK’s telecommunications infrastructure. North Korea only has 1 million landlines for a country of 24.9 million people, with most of those being found in the offices of government officials. Without access to a phone line, one cannot dial into the Kwangmyong network. And predictably for North Korea, new landline installations have to be approved by the government.

As a result, a majority of North Koreans do not have home access to Kwangmyong. But this is hardly a concern when you consider that most North Koreans don’t have access to basic nutrition.

Consumer Technologies

If you happen to be fortunate enough to have access to Kwangmyong, what would your computer look like?

Well, there’s a chance it might be running an operating system called Pulgunbyol, or Red Star OS. which is the North’s official Linux distribution.

redstar-north-korean-internet

Development first started in 2002 on the order of the late Kim Jong-Il, who wanted to create a Linux distribution in keeping with ‘Korean Traditions’. It is currently under development by the Korean Computer Center, and in the years since Kim Jong-Il’s diktat, it has reached version 3.0.

In many respects, it’s like any other community-driven Linux distro. It has a user interface based on the popular KDE windowing environment. There’s also the usual built-in utilities, like an e-mail client, and an office suite. Then there’s a Firefox spin, called Naenara, which is used to browse Kwangmyong. Predictably, the OS is localized for a North Korean audience, although some have been able to tweak their KDE configuration files to use it in English.

Red Star has been heavily modified to look like Mac OS X. It’s no secret that Kim Jong-Il was a devout follower of the Cult of Mac, owning a Macbook Pro, which he even took to the grave with him. It now lives in his heavily guarded mausoleum in the capital, Pyongyang.

Keeping with Apple stylings, it has a translucent dock, where apps can easily be accessed. Amusingly, it also has an ‘/applications’ folder in the root of the operating system. Software stored here has the extension ‘.app’, keeping in line with OS X. This goes to show the extent to which the developers tried to replicate Kim’s favorite operating system.

Should you want to try Red Star OS for yourself, you can grab a copy on Bittorent and via HTTP. You’d be recommended to run it in a virtual machine What Is a Virtual Machine? What Is a Virtual Machine? Virtual machines allow you to run other operating systems within your current operating system, but why does that matter? What are the pros and cons? Read More , however. And obviously, don’t use it as your primary OS.

It’s worth adding that Red Star isn’t universally used by all North Koreans. According to Will Scott, an American graduate student who spent two semesters teaching at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), most computers sold come with pirated copies of the since-discontinued Windows XP operating system.

However, Red Star is heavily used in education environments, as well as in industrial applications. Many factories use it to control heavy machinery.

But the North Korean tech scene is more than just knock-off copies of Windows XP and OS X themed Linux distros. Surprisingly, North Korea also has an answer to the iPad.

It’s called Samjiyon, and will set you back around $150. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s six times the average North Korean monthly wage – for context, that’s like an iPad costing $22,614 in the United States.

In many respects, it’s not that different from any other low-end Android tablet Tablets Compared: Why You Shouldn't Spend Money on Cheap Chinese Android Imports Tablets Compared: Why You Shouldn't Spend Money on Cheap Chinese Android Imports To answer the question regarding the quality of cheap, Chinese-designed tablets, I purchased an ASUS Nexus 7 and a Hyundai T7. Ultimately, I determine whether Chinese tablets are worth importing. Read More produced in bulk by the factories of Shenzhen. It’s powered by a 1.2GHZ ARM CPU, 1GB of RAM, and an unspectacular but perfectly acceptable capacitive touchscreen.

Samjiyon runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich 8 Cool New & Revised Features In Android 4.0 Ice-Cream Sandwich 8 Cool New & Revised Features In Android 4.0 Ice-Cream Sandwich It’s a new year, and we have a new version of Android. Known popularly by the code name Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0 is an important update to Google’s mobile operating system. It will be... Read More , and comes with a number of built-in applications. Some of these are standard Google apps which ship with Android (such as the web browser, which has been tweaked to access Kwangmyong). The Google Play store is obviously removed, given that most North Koreans do not have access to the global Internet. Even if they did, North Korea is under trade sanctions which prevent Google from doing business in the country.

Other apps bundled include a compilation of the sayings of Kim Jong-Il, as well as a pirated copy of Angry Birds Rio Angry Birds Rio: Still Up There With Rovio's Best Angry Birds Rio: Still Up There With Rovio's Best If there is one game which has defined gaming on the smartphone, it is Angry Birds, which is quite possibly the most addictive smash hit since Tetris. Angry Birds is not just one game anymore.... Read More .

The Samjiyon lacks Wi-Fi connectivity (presumably it connects to Kwangmyong via some kind of wired connection), but does have an analog TV tuner built-in. This is fixed to the two frequencies used by the DPRK’s two state-run television channels.

As fascinating as Red Star OS and Samjiyon are, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of North Koreans will never be able to use these products. They’re simply out of reach for the vast majority of North Koreans who want for essential needs, such as basic nutrition and healthcare.

Cell Phones

Although most North Koreans don’t have access to the Internet, cell phones are startlingly common, with almost 60% of 20-60 year olds living in the capital owning a handset.

The DPRK got its first mobile phone network in 2002, which was used primarily by government and industrial elites, and was located mainly in Pyongyang. However, this was shut down only two years later, after it was suspected the network was used in an assassination attempt against Kim Jong-Il.

Four years later, it was relaunched in a joint venture between the DPRK government and the Egyptian telecommunications giant Orascom. In exchange for being allowed to operate the only mobile network in North Korea (called Koryolink), Orascom agreed to finish construction on the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang; a 105-storey blight on the cityscape which has remained as an uncompleted shell since 1992.

nk-ryugyong

But what does the relaunch of the mobile network mean for the average North Korean? A fundamentally limited and expensive service.

Most North Koreans living in rural areas will never see a cell phone. Even if they did, they probably wouldn’t be able to use it. The cell phone infrastructure has been built primarily in Pyongyang and a handful of other larger cities.

Furthermore, there are limits to who can be called. Cell phones cannot dial into or out of the country. Like Kwangmyong, this is only for contacting other North Koreans.

The devices used by North Koreans vary wildly, much as they do in the west. According to StatCounter and South Korea’s Digital Times, devices running iOS, Android and Symbian have all been identified as being in use at some point on Koryolink.

Although Orascom have built a 3G network, there’s no data access for the ordinary North Korean. However, foreigners can purchase data access and gain access to an unfiltered version of the Internet. It’s not cheap, though: according to Will Scott, the American teacher at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, there’s a setup fee of €120, and a monthly data limit of 50 megabytes.

The setup fee for foreigners wanting to use voice services is slightly lower at €80.

Cyber Warfare

North Korea generally lags when it comes to their use of technology. Although, one area where they lead the world is in cyber warfare.

North Korea is a tiny, underdeveloped country with some powerful enemies. As a result, they’ve invested the bulk of their economic resources into their military, at the expense of the rest of the country. This policy (known as ‘Songun’, or ‘military first’) has lead to it having one of the largest standing armies in the world. It has also lead to it having advanced cyber-warfare capabilities.

Although the North Korean government hasn’t hesitated to use conventional weaponry against its adversaries (such as the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan, which resulted in the loss of 46 lives), they’ve also been known to use hacking as a way to inflict damage upon their enemies. This has the advantage of being cheap, as well as deniable. Perfect for a pariah state.

In the past, North Korea has used digital warfare to attack the military, economic and media interests of their Southern neighbor. In 2013, hackers launched an attack on the South, which saw the websites of the Prime Minister and President attacked, as well as 11 media outlets and 131 miscellaneous servers. North Korea was widely accepted to be behind the attacks.

nk-computer

Later in 2014, it was found that over 20,000 Android smartphones in South Korea had been compromised with a malware-infested mobile game, according to the country’s spy agency. The malware left phones vulnerable to eavesdropping and remote video recording. Again, the finger was pointed at North Korea.

Very little is know about the North’s cyber warfare capabilities for sure. What is known is mostly a product of revelations and disclosures made by defectors who have fled the regime for the South.

nk-un-computer

According to these defectors, there are two major groups in North Korea who conduct cyber attacks on behalf of the regime: the No. 91 Office, and Bureau 121.

Details are shadowy about the former, but according to defectors, the latter has between 1800 and 3000 hackers, all of whom have been hand-picked and trained from an early age to compromise computer systems. Employees of Bureau 121 are based not only in North Korea, but also in Thailand, Russia and China. One can presume this is due to the poor standards of connectivity within North Korea, as well as for plausible deniability reasons.

Many have been speculated that Bureau 121 was behind the attack on Sony in 2014. The unprecedented cyber attack resulted in the disrupted release of The Interview Sony Pulls The Interview After Terror Threat From Hackers, & More... [Tech News Digest] Sony Pulls The Interview After Terror Threat From Hackers, & More... [Tech News Digest] Also, the BlackBerry Classic brings sexy back, Netflix is never going offline, Yo gets festive, Wikipedia edits 2014, and the best Star Wars Christmas lights ever. Read More (a film which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in graphic, gory detail), as well as the leaking of a trove of internal emails, and five unreleased movies.

It’s worth stressing that many doubt North Korea was behind this attack. Security firm CloudMark even goes so far as to suggest the secretive regime might have been framed.

Conclusion

The Digital landscape in North Korea is one of censorship, and restriction. Of isolation, and of innovation. There is no other country on the face of the planet which has created its own technology infrastructure and industry from scratch, isolated from the rest of the world. It’s endlessly fascinating.

But although curious to look at, it’s worth noting that this technology isn’t designed to empower the everyday North Korean, but to prevent them from viewing what they want, and from communicating with who they wish.

It’s anathema to technology as we know it. And perhaps that’s what’s most interesting about it.

Photo Credits: Ryugyong Hotel (Roman Harak)Pyongyang (Stephan)Passport Control (Stephan)

  1. Sam
    January 29, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    When I see the word 'dragonmouth', I skip to the next comment. Keep up the good work Matt. Really interesting read.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 31, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks for the kind words man!

  2. dragonmouth
    January 27, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    "I can’t actually tell if the people commenting ..................."
    They are not trolling. The way of living in North Korea is as inconceivable to them as the the Western way of life is to the North Koreans. Neither group has a point of reference.

    "They have no reference to what’s considered “normal” "
    By "normal" you meant to the rest of the world because to the North Koreans, the condition under which they live are "normal."

    "They threaten labor camp imprisonment of someone and their family – and the next generation of that family"
    No threats are made. Entire families are just put into labor camps for transgressions by any family member.

    "China and Russia sympathize with NK"
    Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia is pretty much out of the picture. Putin has other fish to fry. Just as during the Korean War, it is the implicit and explicit threat from China that is keeping North Korea in existence. North Korea is a convenient stalking horse for China.

  3. Charles
    January 27, 2015 at 3:13 am

    I can't actually tell if the people commenting "let them be just because they're different and don't accept our values" and "if they really had it bad, they'd be revolting already" are trolling or serious.
    I won't pretend to be an expert on the subject, but I do think I know a bit more than some on the matter.

    First off - to get it out of the way - the Korean War never officially ended, what they signed was an armistice, not a peace treaty. In part, it established the DMZ which is an oxymoron, considering it's the most heavily armed border in the world.

    Second - North Koreans are what amounts to brainwashed citizens, in the truest sense of the word. They have no reference to what's considered "normal" and the NK government tells them the United States and the Westernized world is basically "evil." They threaten labor camp imprisonment of someone and their family - and the next generation of that family - to a malnourished population if they suspect that person of basically whatever they feel like.

    Third - The only reason the rest of the world hadn't already united the Korean Peninsula is because China and Russia sympathize with NK, and South Korea would need massive financial help from the global community taking on an additional 20 million+ citizens who have basically no natural resources and a drop-in-the-bucket exports of $4 billion compared to $550 billion+ of South Korea.

    Fourth - Thanks for the article, I knew a lot the information, but some of the specifics, like the fact that Americans are allowed to teach there surprised me.

    There's more, but as an adopted South Korean raised in the U.S. I feel somewhat strongly on this subject compared to many I interact with on a daily basis.

  4. Dann Albright
    January 26, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Really interesting look at this, Matt! I've wondered before what daily life would be like in DPRK, but I hadn't thought much about the sorts of technology that are (and aren't) available. Love that Kim Jong-il has a Macbook Pro in his mausoleum. Knowing how attached some people are to the Apple brand, I can't imagine he's the only one. :-)

    The disparity between the technology available to the citizens and the tech used by the military is also really interesting. It seems to very clearly stem from a desire to suppress free information while maintaining 'player' status on the world stage. I'm surprised that some of that doesn't leak out into the populace and cause unrest (who wouldn't be pissed when they saw a Macbook Air after what they'd been using?), but I suppose the fact that their hackers are trained from a young age means they can be heavily indoctrinated by the time they have a chance to cause any mayhem.

    Super interesting stuff.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 31, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      The disparity you talked about isn't just in technology, although admittedly that's a huge area. It's food. It's transport. It's education, and travel options.

      Basically, it sucks to be North Korean.

      Thanks so much for your comment man!

  5. dragonmouth
    January 26, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Despite your smarmy, sniggering comments about the state of their technology, North Korea has one of the top cyber terrorism programs in the world. How do you explain that people with such simplistic, backward, unsophisticated technology as you derisively describe, can present such a great cyber threat?

    • ReadandShare
      January 26, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      @dragonmouth:

      Not that we civilians will ever really know, but I would take stuff coming out of the CIA, etc. with fistfuls of salt. We have ALWAYS been a nation 'under siege' -- which makes for great business for our defense industry -- and our politicians many of whom retire to become highly-paid consultants of said industry.

      Remember Iraq's massive WMD stockpile and its "imminent" nuclear attack capability?

      To me, a lot of the supposed menace coming out of NK just doesn't square up. NOBODY -- not China, not Russia is selling them any advanced weaponry -- and more critically spare parts. NK has no money! Like Cuba has no money. But some in our government are only too happy to play up any menace they can find -- since the demise of the great bugbear the Soviet Union.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 27, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Dragonmouth!

      Care to point out one of my smarmy, sniggery comments? I can't seem to find any.

      I wait with bated breath.

    • dragonmouth
      January 27, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      The entire article is one, big snigger.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      By snigger, do you mean 'factual, dispassionate look at technology in North Korea?'

    • Mike
      January 29, 2015 at 12:03 am

      Matt your article is well written, thank you it was highly enlightening, and objective regardless of what some propagandists like dragonmouth or Suleiman would say.

    • dragonmouth
      January 29, 2015 at 12:26 am

      Hey, Mike.
      I've been called many things but never a propagandist (whatever that means in this context)

    • dragonmouth
      January 29, 2015 at 12:30 am

      @Matt:
      Factual - probably.
      Dispassionate - hardly

      And you still haven't explained how such a backward technology can produce one one of the world's top cyber terrorist efforts.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 29, 2015 at 12:37 am

      The premise of your argument is wrong. You assume that I think North Korea has one of the 'world’s top cyber terrorist efforts'. I don't. I think they've got a pretty powerful cyber-warfare infrastructure, but it pales in comparison to that of China, Israel, the US, the UK... Hell, even France. If you want to see cyberwarfare on a phenomenal scale, just read up on Stuxnet.

      With that said, I regret using the word 'lead' in that section.

      Your turn. Where have I been sniggery? Where have I been derisory? Where have I been anything other than dispassionate. Give me a quote Dragonmouth. Just one quote.

    • Mike
      January 29, 2015 at 12:47 am

      Dragonmouth you're a propagandist for the North Korean dictatorship, no need to feel ashamed of that... and if you don't understand what a word means use a dictionary, if you don't know what a dictionary is, uninstall the internet.

  6. ReadandShare
    January 26, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Not that I really know, but to me, NK is not so much an enigma as a cult on a national scale.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 31, 2015 at 8:54 pm

      I agree, but those aren't mutually exclusive things!

  7. Suleiman
    January 26, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Aditya, the only time i saw " fake fruits" was in the movie The Interviewer. South Korea was created by the West so it doesn't have sanctions. I am not here to start political dialog or to take the light from Mathew's article. I am just kinda pissed off for others to depict NK as being unfortunate because they didn't comply with their ( outsiders) ideology. If the people were really not happy as the medias tells us , they would have started revolution. So lets leave them alone and lets do our lives. I have yet to find real usefulness from our so called free access to the Web. NK are smart, they have intranet , with an "a". I didn't know they have internet till i read this article. Usually contents accessed on intranet are properly arranged and they are useful. But when it comes to internet, the good, the bad, and the ugly contents are easy accessible. You might tell me that we should use our judgments when choosing contents to read or watch. That might be right to you and I but not to the 15 years and under kids who actually live online. I am sure the people in NK are living lives just like you and me : doing their jobs and having fun with their families without harming others.

  8. James Bruce
    January 26, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Fascinating. I wonder who makes their little tablet effort - presumably they have a supplier in China who they work with to produce it, given the customizations like the TV receiver? I imagine the manufacturers want to keep their identity secret, for PR purposes. Also, someone could approach the manufacturers to embed spying software or malware...

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 31, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Oh, I don't think it's built in-country. Probably some Shenzhen job, with the Android variant built in-house.

      I wonder how many are actually used, given the relatively high cost of the devices.

  9. Suleiman
    January 26, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    lil bit off the topic:
    I saw The Interviewer yesterday. I did not like it at all. Why make fun of people who chose to live life of their choice. After I saw the movie, I was so curious to learn about North Korea. I watched many documentaries and read some articles. What I realized was that the people down there like their life but it pissed off Western world who i guess do not like it when someone gets by without (western) help or ideology.

    The people down there are well discipline and focused. All the people who made documentary about this nation were trying to show us how bad it is down there because people have few hair style choices although the people who were interviewed in the streets were telling the reporter to tell the world how N Korean people are happy. Why does it piss off the West if some people can do without them.

    I know you are talking about technology here but i hope you are not trying to tell us how backwards or unlucky these people are. We have free access to the web but we don't use it that much to do productive works. We use it heavily to create gap between us and our loved ones. I am online in the living room, the kids are online in their rooms and the wife is watching her Netflix. I bet the countries where they do not have internet are doing way better than us when it comes to living life as it should be.

    I know i am off the topic but i had to say something. Yesterday I saw the movie and today I read your article.

    • Aditya
      January 26, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      Are you sure they are happy as you said? The article is correct when saying that the NK people lack basic nutrition. Their government dumbs down their own citizen. I too have seen also the documentaries, one of them shows the fake fruits in the market which means no fruit to sell at all. Maybe the NK people don't really know what happiness is.
      But to get back to tech. Just compare them to their brothers in the South, without involving Westerners as you have said. You will find the real gap in there, Westerners or not.

    • James Bruce
      January 26, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Living life as it should be - like, without food. Yeh, sounds awesome.

    • Andrew
      January 27, 2015 at 3:36 am

      It's okay, we all know that you are either a North Korean propagandist, or are just doing what you have been indoctrinated to do, and say everything in North Korea is great. It's not good there. The people are only happy because they are told they are happy.

    • Larry Wong
      January 27, 2015 at 6:41 am

      Do you really think the people in N. Korea have a choice to not receiving help from the West? REALLY? Did the documentary show you what would happen to a person if he decided he no longer want to live in his homeland and move to some other countries? Why do you think old Kim took his MacBook Pro to the grave? Because it's the one ring and he didn't want it to corrupt his beloved people? You have a choice. The N. Koreans don't. Maybe they like to live their lives that way because they never knew there are alternatives. "Why didn't they start a revolution to overthrow the Kim Dynasty?" you may ask. Perhaps it's because starting a revolution is a risky business? There is a high chance of losing your life in doing so, you know. If a person choose to live a simple life and is truly happy gadget-free, that's fine. Unfortunately for most N. Koreans, they didn't choose to live that way. They're born into it.

    • Chris
      January 28, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      You're an idiot.

    • Suleiman
      January 28, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      @Chris you are actually what you just said.

      I have been a regular reader of this awesome website for the past two years now. I read great articles and read great opinions of people. This website is for people who are mature, intellect and who have respect to others' opinions even if those opinions do not match theirs ideas. It would have been easy for me to trash you now here but I can't and that is due to the great respect I have to the people who run this website and the people who come here and interact. If you have a little bit of sense dignity you will apologize , not to me , i don't need it , but to the MakeUseOf people and to its readers for using foul language in this respected website.

      @Andrew I am not what you said : " North Korean propagandist, or are just doing what you have been indoctrinated to do, and say everything in North Korea is great." I never knew that much about NK till I saw that pathetic movie called The Interviewer which made me research about NK. Buddie, not everyone really like the life style of the Western world. So relax and don't say something not true about others because you do not like what they wrote. Be tolerant to the freedom of speech bro.

    • Mike
      January 29, 2015 at 12:00 am

      Much like Suleiman, there will ALWAYS be people who will assert that the oppressed individual really likes it. Suleiman no doubt would have been a slave owner "back in the day" arguing that his slaves "liked it".

    • Suleiman
      January 30, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      @Mike Loooool you really made me laugh with your comment. Right now I am in the beautiful Niagara Falls, Canada for the weekends and I can't respond now. But what I will do is that once I go back to my city I will make an extensive research about NK and it's people and learn more. I confess that I have a little information about NK. My initial comment that brought all these arguments was based on the fact that people have the right not to choose the life style of the West. Now I started to realize that I have much to learn about the people in NK. I am totally against oppression and 'slavery' . Soon I will learn about NK. In the mean time have a wonderful weekend folks and greetings to you from the beautiful Niagara Falls :)

    • Scott Hedrick
      February 10, 2015 at 2:19 am

      If North Koreans actually have a choice, then why not allow all North Koreans full, uncensored access to the Internet? Let them choose to surf it or stay local with Kwangmyong, at the same price. Real choice would be more than the government approved content or nothing.

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