Korea Central News Agency, the official voice of North Korea, on Friday formally announced the launch of its web site, a project that tech observers and analysts outside the country have been following since November. The country revived the use of its Internet domain address – .kp – in November. Since then, several of its media outlets and government institutes have put up web sites that have been accessed using numeric addresses. Many were incomplete or “under construction,” as they say online.
KCNA was one of those until Friday’s announcement. Now, its web site is visible here. Except in South Korea, that is. Authorities in Seoul last month decided to block access to all web sites with the .kp address. The Korea Communications Standards Commission said it would monitor North Korea’s “propaganda activities throughout the Internet” and said they contain illegal information under a South Korean security law that, of course, North Korea’s media frequently rails against.
Among other sites that North Korea has rolled out in recent weeks are ones run by its biggest newspaper, Rodong Shinmun, one devoted to friendship exchanges and a small portal called Naenara, or “Our country.”