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North Korea continues to open its electronic borders as it launched a portal site in June, two and a half years after it started e-mail services
The Korea Times
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
By Kim Tae-gyu
North Korea continues to open its electronic borders as it launched a portal site in June, two and a half years after it started e-mail services.
A North Korean monthly, Chosun, said in its latest edition that the state-controlled Korea Computer Center started to test run a portal site, titled Naenara (www.kcckp.net) from June.
The word "naenara" means my country in Korean.
According to Whois, an international domain registration service provider, the site was registered on May 28 and its server is based on Berlin, Germany.
The North, which had strictly restricted its people’s access to the Internet, offered the first commercial e-mail services through Silibank (www.silibank.com) from November 2001.
The entity, based in Shenyang in Northeast China and supported by the North Korean government, installed servers in the city and Pyongyang to enable the services.
Naenara offers various features such as North Korean news and e-mail services as well as operating online shopping malls.
News and message board services are available after entering the site, but e-mail services and shopping mall use are possible only after registration, although the two subscriber-only services didn’t function properly on Wednesday.
Experts point out the move will encourage inter-Korean contacts in cyberspace combined with the South’s recent move to ease regulations.
The National Assembly is currently mulling over allowing South Koreans to access North Korean Web sites without needing prior permits from the government.
It was adopted as a parliamentary agenda after a total of 34 lawmakers forwarded a revised Inter-Korea Cooperation and Exchange Law to the Assembly for passage earlier this month.
Under the current law, South Koreans who log onto North Korean Web sites without prior approval are subject to up to three years in jail and a maximum of 10 million won in fines.
Date Posted: 7/14/2004