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North Korea Expands Internet Access to Visitors


North Korea is set to widen internet access through mobile and other portable devices, just to visitors. North Korean residents will, however, still not have the privilege of accessing the widened internet accessibility.

The government will give Koryolink the go ahead to give access to 3G internet to foreigners. The move came after Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chairman, visited Pyongyang and urged officials to consider allowing internet accessibility through Koryolink’s expanded 3G network. Schmidt’s appeal was, however, made with the aim of having North Koreans given this capability.

Schmidt said that North Korea was continually isolating itself virtually, with the world rapidly becoming connected and this is slowly affecting their physical world as well as other facets of their society. Only recently were foreigners allowed to operate their cellphones in North Korea, previously having to hand over their phones while at customs.

Foreigners will be able to access internet through their mobile devices staring from March 1st. It is not clear whether the government hopes to extend this capability to its citizens in the near future.

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