back to article Your poster guide: A fascinating glimpse into North Korea's 'internet'

Singaporean photographer Aram Pan has been taking some fascinating photos of the world's most reclusive country, North Korea. Alongside pictures of beautiful landscapes and rundown buildings, however, one picture caught our eye: a map of the starving country's "internet." It sounds ludicrous, but thanks to North Korea's …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "it is actually possible, by law, to avoid any mention of Kim Kardashian"


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kim Kardashian?

    Is he a Gul or a Glinn?

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Kim Kardashian?

      Legit, naturally. Now, are you going to drink that kanar, or am I going to have to come over there and drink it for you?

      1. x 7

        Re: Kim Kardashian?

        two questions

        1) which Kim has the better ass?

        2) which Kim is the bigger ass?

  3. thames

    Internet Directory

    I can remember when you used to be able to buy an Internet directory in the book store. It was a large book printed on cheap paper, very much like a phone book, which listed all the world's web sites. They published new editions on a regular basis. Before the advent of search engines it was how you found things on the web. I never bought one, but that was because I couldn't get local Internet service where I lived at the time.

    I imagine that the North Korean Internet would be very much like going back in time for anyone from the rest of the world.

    One very practical reason for them restricting Internet access out to the rest of the world by the way would be the cost of bandwidth, which would be massively one-sided against them when it comes to balancing payments. Their foreign exchange reserves could be completely drained from one heavy night of browsing on any of the popular western porn sites.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Internet Directory

      I suspect that 'foreign exchange reserves' would not be the only thing completely drained after such a night of pr0n browsing

    2. Roq D. Kasba

      Re: Internet Directory

      Many moons ago, a friend proudly showed me a printout of the WWW. He'd found it on gopher. And printed it out in 6pt font taking several sheets of paper.

    3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Internet Directory


      There was only a very short period of time (18 months or so) between the launch of NCSA/Mosaic (1993 on UNIX and Amiga), and thus the web proper not the Internet, and the founding of the Altavista search engine (1995). And during this time, public use of the Internet was almost non-existent, and I very much doubt other services were popular enough to merit a generally available book. And DNS operated, so you often had a starting point for looking for something.

      Windows did not get Spyglass Mosaic until 1995.

      So where is the gap?

      If you are talking before the use of HTML, then there were lists of Archie and Gopher sites, but they were really just paper copies of the services own indexes.

      1. /dev/null

        Re: Internet Directory

        I think the previous commenter was referring to this book, which I rememember seeing in a university bookshop at the time: "The Internet White Pages", published in 1994, right in the gap between the web exploding out of academia, and the emergence of AltaVista and its ilk.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Internet Directory

          I know about that, but it was very little about "web sites" (as stated in the original article), and more about gopher, archie and email, often down to individual's email addresses.

          At the time, my major go-to was one of the sunsite ftp and gopher mirrors. I would say that what is now called the Internet started with Altavista, Excite, Infoseek et. al.

          1. Roq D. Kasba

            Re: Internet Directory

            Sunsite, now there's a flashback.

            Pre-mosaic this was all lynx on dumb terminals on an IBM3090. And glorious gopher helped me find which had a few nudie pictures on it!

            Then Altavista was a sub domain of digital, and I remember 'hacking' their load balancing when I discovered they had 14 servers! 14 whole servers!...servicing search requests.

        2. David Roberts

          Re: Internet Directory

          IIRC that was around the time of the Beta trial of BT Internet.

          The development team were so proud that they published all the email addresses in the White Pages so the people would know that we did email.

          Strangely, my original email address still has orders of magnitude more SPAM than any of my more recent ones.

  4. Winkypop Silver badge


    The Copyright notice is optimistic.

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Judging from the photo

    Of Glorious Leader at a computer and all the generals smiling and taking notes, he just taught them how to find the porn site. Or maybe it's tractor and cabbage production forecasts...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Judging from the photo

      followed shortly by.... Hello, my name is King Jonathon III, we are receiving $450,000,000 to your account...

      1. iLuddite

        Re: Judging from the photo

        "we are receiving $450,000,000 to your account..."

        "we arr receeving $450,000,000 to your acount..."

        FTFY, and your idea may have fixed the balance of payments problem mentioned by thames.

  6. Christian Berger

    IPs make sense

    I mean DNS, tell very recently, could only do latin characters. So people would not only have to remember the domain name, but also it's latin transliteration.

    Just imagine having to type Korean transliterations of your favourite websites. Remembering numbers seems easier than that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    No Kardashian

    It almost makes it worth giving up the porn and moving there.

    Well, we will always have Paris.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I haven't had Paris yet and while I'm open to the prospect, I'd rather it not be a group endeavour.

  8. Potemkine Silver badge

    Freaky picture

    'Smile, or die'

    1. Danny 14

      Re: Freaky picture

      yes, but don't smile first and don't smile last. Not for too long but not too short either.

      There is etiquette to dealing with dictators you know.

      1. Rich 11

        Re: Freaky picture

        There is etiquette to dealing with dictators you know.

        I expect it's even more risky dealing with dictators you don't know.

  9. MikeWolf


    DPRKNet is one letter away from "DARKNet" Coincidence? I think not.

    1. Promotor Fidei

      Re: Coincidence?

      It is also only one letter away from DORKNET.

  10. dotdavid

    So what sites are available on this intranet?

    I was hoping for a load of amusing knock-offs of proper internet sites, with overblown names like "The Glorious Peoples' Microblogging Site for Patriotic Small Birds"

  11. Jedit Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "it is actually possible, by law, to avoid any mention of Kim Kardashian"

    That's not the Kim they'd rather avoid mention of.

  12. Rich 11

    Turn up or drop out (of sight)

    The nation just held its regional elections at the weekend, and scored a 99.97 per cent turnout. Not surprising given that if you don't vote, you disappear.

    So the re-education slave labour camps have just gained something like an extra 57,000 inmates? Charming fellow, that Kim.

  13. x 7

    who's the token bird in the civvies? And is that another girl in uniform to Kim's right, or is it just an effeminate soldier? If so I give him a projected short life spam - he makes the leader look a bit gay

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