The Internet in the DPRK: How North Korea’s Intranet Reinforces National Isolation

Stories of repression in the DPRK are nothing new, with numerous accounts of prison work camps, political re-education, and the thorough repression of individualism at the altar of state indoctrination regularly pouring out of the Republic of Korea’s northern brother.

That is why some may find it shocking to learn that North Korea has set up a very elaborate, fire-walled national intranet accessible to political elites. Articles on the intranet mimic the state propaganda doled out regularly to the citizenry over radio and television but is presented using North Korean versions of Mozilla’s Firefox and a custom operating system (OS) based on Linux called Red Star. HTML code to make the names of leadership appear larger within the body of the text is regularly employed and writers are rumored to be sent to concentration camps for as little as a spelling or punctuation error.