A vast, sprawling network; a cauldron laden with information, opinion, chatter, pictures and videos. That’s the internet for most of us. But not in North Korea where an unexpected leak shows that the data-impoverished people of the secretive nation have just 28 official websites. And, unfortunately for those who live under the hardline regime of Kim Jong-un, most of those are pretty rubbish. They are slow to load, devoid of interesting content or interactive features and, for the most part, they just regurgitate propaganda about the supreme leader.
They don’t try to ape Western media. When you go on the website its obvious its news from North Korea. It’s not dressed up to look like a slick international media outlet
Martyn Williams, who runs the website North Korea Tech
Many of the websites have been known about but this is the first time that the full, ungainly rundown of what is available has been discovered. It was unearthed by a US-based engineer whose repeated requests for a list of all the domains unexpectedly came back with an answer. Many of the sites belonged to official bodies such as the committee for cultural relations and the maritime agency, as well as official state news organisations. Typical of the scintilating headlines revealed were “Kim Jong-un sends birthday spreads to veteran scholars” and a report on the leader visiting a fruit farm. However, there is a smidgin of light relief - one or two sites offer recipes and movie reviews.