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North Korea permits 28 websites on its internet — Reddit users crashed them all

Bruce Brown
North Korea controls internet access, with only 28 websites total open for public view. After the DNS for the country was accidentally leaked, Reddit users overloaded the servers by checking out the sites.

Heavy interest by Reddit users overloaded North Korean websites, after the domain name server (DNS) list for the country’s public internet websites was inadvertently revealed for the first time, according to the Mirror.

Only 28 websites with the “.kp” domain name are open to the general population. After those 28 public sites were posted on Reddit, contributors took it upon themselves to learn what the world looks like as viewed on the limited North Korean version of the internet. Ordinarily, the websites aren’t viewable outside the country, thus the interest from the wider world of internet users.

Related: North Korea has just launched its own Netflix-style streaming service

The Reddit discussion and the comment threads that explain what users were able to learn about the 28 North Korean open sites are available at this link. Within the discussion, there is also a separate link that serves as a general directory of some of the sites. Please note that it’s possible if not likely that some or all of the sites the end in “.kp” may be blocked sometime soon.

Reddit users found that of the 28 sites available to North Korean Internet users, 10 were not accessible. According to the Washington Post, not many people in North Korea have access to the public sites, which could explain why there are so few.

“The small number of websites that use the domain isn’t exactly surprising — only a few thousand North Korean citizens, if that, have access to the Internet.” The Washington Post also said that most North Korean internet users can only view a closed national intranet called the “Kwamgmyong,” which consists of government sites likely numbering in the thousands. None of the Reddit activity or discoveries involved the Kwangmyong.

The accessible sites of the “open 28″ that Reddit users did see included news sites, an insurance company site, a recipe website, a film site, a travel site, and a flight ticket site for Air Koryo. There were also what appeared to be sites for a religious group, education, sports, charity, and a site dealing with maritime laws. A site called ‘”Friend” appears to be something similar to Yahoo and MSN, according to the Reddit discussion.

The Mirror article mentioned that the website overload on the North Korean sites from Reddit users was not the country’s first experience with unexpected traffic. In 2014 a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack also took down the country’s internet service.