North Korea to provide Internet service

North Korea will begin Internet service next year, according to Kim Sang-myung, chief of the North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity. At a symposium held at the (South Korean) National Assembly yesterday, Kim said that Internet service in North Korea will be based upon an Internet Access Roadmap that was launched in 2002. The North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity is a group of people who were formerly professionals in North Korea; Kim, who defected in 2004, was a professor of computer engineering at the Communist University.

The Chosun Ilbo reports:

First of all, North Korea will establish infrastructure for a super-speed Internet service network by laying optical cables between Pyongyang and Hamhung and extending them to Chongjin and Shinuiju this year. North Korea has recently succeeded in consolidating security solutions for the prevention of online leaks of data to foreign countries and of online intrusions, and in enhancing service stability.

Kim claims that North Korea has also recently finished necessary consultations with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the Internet service.

Currently, North Korea provides only a limited service through a kind of Intranet called Kwangmyong, through which it is possible to access databases on scientific and technological information at North Korean central government agencies.

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