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How is the internet in North Korea?

Andy Vilchez
3 min read

It is no secret to anyone that North Korea is a hermetic country about which little information is available.

This makes this country fascinating for many people, leaving aside all the speculations that may be around this topic, it is a country full of curious things.

One of them is the internet, but... is there really internet in North Korea ? Today we are going to answer this and other questions related to this topic.

How is the internet in North Korea? – Technology – WebMediums
Iternet in North Korea.

Is there internet in North Korea?

This is a question that many people may ask themselves about this country.

After all, being such a hermetic country, it would be normal for North Koreans not to have any kind of internet access that would put them in contact with the outside world.

In part this is true, but it is also true that the internet exists in that Asian country, only very limited.

We could say that it is a very basic and rudimentary version of the internet that we all know. Although of course, as with other things, in North Korea there is an elite which does have access to global and high-speed internet.

You may think this is crazy, but the truth is that in North Korea this is normal and most people have never had free access to the internet. Therefore, their version of the internet, which is actually an intranet, is the only thing they know.

Kwangmyon: The Internet of North Koreans

How is the internet in North Korea? – Technology – WebMediums
Internet North Korea.

The country does not have an "internet" as such, but rather it is an intranet with websites that are approved by the government.

North Koreans do not have access to international news or social platforms, however this intranet has many websites that are useful to North Koreans.

This includes websites for news, educational, entertainment, and much more.

Additionally, we have that not all the population has access to this intranet. According to statistics, only about 2 million North Koreans have access to the kwangmyon. So even this very limited network is not available to the majority of the population.

Usually it is only students, civil servants and the occasional "lucky" person who can have access to this beef.

What about mobile internet?

How is the internet in North Korea? – Technology – WebMediums
Mobile Internet North Korea.

North Koreans do not have access to this intranet from the mobile network on their devices. Of course, not everyone has access to a mobile phone, and they are usually cheap Chinese mobiles that the government acquires, modifies the software and sells or gives away to some citizens.

These only serve to send text messages and calls with a very limited 3G network.

Some people, especially those who live near the border with China, may be able to obtain smuggled mobile phones that are "free". For its part, the elite of that country does have access to high-end devices, as well as internet connection and international calls.

Total control of telecommunications

How is the internet in North Korea? – Technology – WebMediums
Red Star OS

Both mobile phones and computers throughout the country are under strict state control. It is even rumored that they have programs or viruses that are responsible for spying on everything that users do.

They have their own operating system called "red star" which is based on Linux, but with strong censorship and control. This operating system only offers basic functionalities for users.