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North Korea has accidentally “leaked” information pertaining to its .kp domains, allowing foreigners an unprecedented insight into the government-run websites of the notoriously secretive country, and revealing that only 28 websites actually possess the .kp domain name.
Foreigners can gain access to the .kp domains as a result of North Korea accidentally allowing the pages to be accessed outside the country, with information including links and zone files being published to Github after this change had been discovered. The individual who posted the information on Github wrote: “On Sept 20, 2016 at approximately 10:00PM, one of North Korea’s top level nameservers was accidentally configured to allow global DNS zone transfers. This allows anyone who performs an AXFR (zone transfer) request to the country’s ns2.kptc.kp nameserver can get a copy of the nation’s top level DNS data … This data gives us a better picture of North Korea’s domains and top level DNS.”
Internet access in North Korea is limited, as citizens of the so-called Hermit Kingdom are forbidden from learning or communicating with the world outside of their country. This means that government websites make up a majority portion of what North Korean citizens can browse, and this leak has provided us with a look at how its dictatorship, led by leader Kim Jong-un, present themselves to their public.
Unsurprisingly, a significant portion of each of these sites is dedicated to the general day-to-day existence of Kim Jong-un, with two websites running with the top story of the dictator visiting a fruit farm. “Supreme Leader’s Activities” has its own section on the site Rodong.rep.kp. Aside from the discussion surrounding their leader and his contributions to the country (including one of his published papers supposedly helping transform the country’s young men and women into “Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist’s,” the absurd name for the country’s youth organization), there’s also plenty of time devoted on these sites to discussing South Korea, the North’s long-lasting enemies.
In an “opinion” piece published on Rodong titled “Park Geun Hye Will Be Made to Pay Dearly for her Crimes against DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea],’ the author discusses the president of South Korea, writing: “Traitor Park Geun Hye of south Korea is seized with such extreme hostility toward the fellow countrymen in the north that she spouts a litany of invectives escalating the confrontation of the social systems every day in a bid to mislead the public opinion.
“She was busy recklessly wagging her tongue about “sign of serious crack in the north” and “contingency of concern.” She went the lengths of making provocative remarks to hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK.”
The post continues: “She hurled mud at the DPRK with such nonsensical words as “isolation” and “self-destruction” and cried out for “leading the north to changes,” revealing her ambition for “unification of social systems.”
“What she uttered only hardens the will of the service persons and people of the DPRK to force Park to pay a dear price for her thrice-cursed crimes.”
Another post titled ‘Peruvian Party Urges U.S. to Stop Nuclear Threat and Sanctions against DPRK,’ which falsely claims that Peru’s government spoke out last week against President Obama’s condemnation of the North Korea’s nuclear tests, reads: “It is none other than the U.S. which has persistently threatened the DPRK by introducing many nuclear weapons into south Korea and its vicinity. The U.S. is mulling prodding the UNSC into applying fresh sanctions to heroic Korea.
“It is the unanimous desire and legitimate right of the Korean people to pull the U.S. forces out of south Korea and achieve peace on the Korean peninsula. The DPRK has made efforts for it.
“The Korean people will never give up their just cause but shatter the U.S. military threat and economic pressure by dint of justice.
“The U.S. and its followers should clearly understand the tremendous might of the DPRK and stop at once their nuclear blackmail and racket for sanctions against it.”
Among the various news sites revealed among the 28 domains uncovered in the Github post, there is also a Korean tourism board, an air travel website (which is curious considering that the North Korean population aren’t allowed to travel outside of the country) and a potential social networking site branded Friend.com.kp. It’s uncertain how this site functions in a country that is notoriously against the free communication of its citizens.
The Github page was posted to Reddit following its publication, and the increased viewership of a number of the listed sites led to North Korea’s servers failing to withstand the increased amount of traffic. At the time of this writing, a number of the sites remain offline.
Take a look at a selection of the .kp sites in the gallery below: