It’s no secret that North Korea veritable black hole when it comes to Internet access. It’s probably, at least partly, why the world didn’t find out until Monday that Kim Jong-il had suffered a heart attack and died the previous Saturday. However, in the same manner he enjoyed all of the spoils of life that he simultaneously deprived from the citizens of North Korea, Kim really liked him some Internets. In fact, he claimed to be an “Internet expert.”
According to Mother Board, Kim was not ashamed of this accolade:
The DPRK’s Dear Leader fancied himself as such during an international summit in 2007. Seven years prior, he had asked U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright for her email address, indicating that the North Korean internet black hole was perhaps not as thoroughly opaque as we made it out to be — at least not for those at the top.
For the rest of the world, surfing those scant blips of North Korean internet activity is still a very mysterious and weird experience: Of the 30 or so known North Korean websites, only one of them, belonging to its state-run news agency and run by a company called Star Joint Ventures, originates from inside North Korea itself. Bereft of the usual DNS handling, it can be accessed directly at 184.108.40.206, and seems to contain very little actual information beyond — you guessed it — a log of Kim Jong-il’s recent activities, which include attending giant performances in his honor and rejecting human rights bills.
“Dear Leader” went so far as to create a government-run Twitter account in order to broadcast his message to… well, no one, exactly, since North Koreans have virtually no access to the Internet. Here’s a sample of tweets from that account, @uriminzok:
Actually, you probably can’t read that, so here are translations provided by @GoogleUriminzok, a Twitter account that uses Google Translate to relay Dear Leader’s tweets in English:
1/2 After all the blood to enjoy a quiet garden hajamyeon fox, just like you evict U.S. forces from south Korea to get rid of aggression and
You can kind of parse a nationalist message amid those broken translations but the true intent of these proclamations can’t really be understood. What I get is basically: We’re great, U.S. and South Korea are bad. Funny enough, North Korea’s official twitter account is only following four other accounts. Three of them are DPRK-related accounts, but then there’s this guy:
Yeah, I have no idea what that means, either. Jimmy’s message of making the world a better place, though, doesn’t really seem to gibe with Kim’s despotic them.