Feeds

North Korea to switch on the interwebs

20 - count 'em - 20 PCs allowed into industrial zone

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

North Korea has agreed to allow internet access within its borders, or at least within the bounds of an industrial park run jointly with firms from the South.

Pyongyang officials have agreed to open a business centre in the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the first half of the year, which will initially house 20 internet-connected PCs.

If that goes to plan then all the firms based in the park will be connected. There are over 100 businesses operating there - run by South Korean owners but staffed mainly by those from the North.

“Officials and employees in the North’s border city will be able to use most of the online services now available in South Korea,” a Ministry of Unification official told newswire Yonhap.

“Considering the fact that workers there have to communicate via phone or fax machines to those in the South, the internet linkage will boost efficiency, cut costs, and guarantee security.”

South Korean ISP KT and North Korea’s Post and Telecommunications Corporation will apparently work together on the fine print.

While nothing is ever straightforward when it comes to the unpredictable Hermit Kingdom, the signs are positive that it wants to improve connectivity into the flagship complex.

However, it would be a leap too far to assume that the move signals a softening of attitudes in Pyongyang.

It’s more than likely that the Kim Jong-un regime will require some kind of monitoring and/or censorship apparatus in place to ensure the 44,000+ North Koreans working at the plant aren’t given the run of the world wide web.

Kaesong has been an important source of income for cash-strapped Norks since it began operations in 2004 and news emerged last November that work on a second park dedicated to hi-tech companies had begun in the vicinity.

Most North Koreans are forbidden access to the web, apart from a select group of scientists, academics and ‘elite’ members of society. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?
EU reckons we've one foot out the door anyway
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law
Welcome in a New Era ... of copyright litigation
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.