How the Internet Works in North Korea – Slate Magazine

Since 2013, internet service has also been available to resident foreigners and visiting tourists through Koryolink, a national cellular operator that was launched in 2008 with Egypt’s Orascom Telecom. It has more than 2 million subscribers, but only foreigners get internet access. And it’s not cheap, either—it costs 10 euros for 50 megabytes of data. In contrast, $10 will buy 1 gigabyte of data on the T-Mobile network in the United States. Nevertheless, it has been valuable for North Korea watchers like me, as it has delivered some truly intriguing glimpses from tourists posting pictures as they travel. For instance, Jaka Parker, a worker at the Indonesian embassy, ran a popular Instagram account with photos from his daily life that included sights across Pyongyang and even Friday prayers at the Iranian embassy’s mosque. Some foreigners have even live-streamed from the city. But perhaps because of this, earlier this year Koryolink was forced to start censoring access to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and some South Korean news sites.


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