How can you view North Korean websites from South Korea?Published by Shelby Taylor on September 29, 2018
For two countries so close together, North Korea and South Korea have very poor relations. Divided since the end of World War II nearly 75 years ago, the two have been locked in some form of combat – open or otherwise – since then.
That combat has extended online, where South Korea has expanded its 1948 National Security Act, which, while giving citizens freedom of speech, petition, assembly, and the press, also has the right to punish behaviors or actions that favor North Korea’s regime or communism in general.
History of South Korea’s Internet Censorship
As the Internet has become a leading source of information dissemination and communication, South Korea has extended the National Security Act to include online activities. The first Internet censorship laws arrived between 1995-2002, and were known as the Telecommunications Business Act. It created the Internet Communications Ethics Committee (ICEC). The ICEC expanded from 2002-2008 and began monitoring the Internet for unlawful statements and foreign websites.
In 2008, new South Korean president Lee Myung-bak created the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) to replace the ICEC. Large-scale overhauls followed to reduce anonymity online and to take down discussion on elections as well as any subjects the government found to be socially harmful.
South Korea’s Online War with North Korea
SInce 2004, South Korea has blocked at least 65 websites sympathetic to North Korea by blocking IPs to those sites. It continues to take mentions or support of North Korea very seriously, arresting a political activist in 2007 for discussing North Korea on a website and another man in 2011 for praising North Korea on social media sites.
Violating these conditions or any other censorship standards in South Korea are supposedly addressed via a “three-strike” rule after which point a person loses their Internet service. Many have complained of losing that service after the first “strike.” Other countries have been largely critical of South Korea’s methods, comparing them to China’s in terms of limiting its own population from viewing objective information.
North Korean Websites Blocked by South Korea
Here is the latest list of North Korean websites blocked by the South Korean government along with a brief description of what they do if necessary:
- Air Koryo: North Korea’s national airline
- Chochong: League of Korean Youth LIving in Japan
- Cholsan Patent and Trademark Agency: Attorney based in Pyongyang
- Chongryon: Japanese website for General Association of Korean Residents living in Japan
- Choson Sinbo: English/Korean language newspaper for General Association of Korean Residents in Japan
- Elufa: Korean language video portal of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan
- Faster Korea: International sports website
- Friend: News and information on cultural exchange
- Great National Unity: Korean language website
- Korea Education Fund: Organization coordinating support for education
- Korea Elderly Care Fund
- Korea International Film Festival
- Korea National Insurance Corporation
- Korea News Service
- Korea Photo Service
- Korea Publication: Sells North Korean books, DVDs and stamps
- Koryo PAT Rainbow: Patent/trademark agency
- Minjok Tongshin: English/Korean language news
- Korea Computer Center
- National Democratic Front of South Korea Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front
- North Korea Tech
- Our Nation School
- Pyongyang International Trade Fair
- Rodong Sinmun: Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea
- Voice of Korea: NK’s international shortwave broadcaster
- Ryomyong: People’s Reconciliation Council
- Ryugyong Clip: Pyongyang in videos and images
- Tong II Han Ma Eum: Association of the Peaceful Reunification of the Motherland based in Japan
- Uriminzokkiri: News portal
How to view North Korean Websites from South Korea
There’s only one surefire way to view blocked North Korean websites while you’re in South Korea, and that’s by employing a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN circumvents geolocation blocking by allowing your computer access websites via a remote server located in another country.
VPNs work by creating an tunnel to send encrypted data, such as requests to visit blocked websites, between your computer and a remote server located outside South Korea. The information is encrypted at your computer and decrypted at the remote host. There, your information is given a new IP address to visit the websites of your choice, fooling your Korean ISP. When you download information or files from the Internet, it comes to the remote server, where it is encrypted, sent through the VPN back to you, and decrypted for your use.
Three of the best services for getting around South Korea’s blocks are PrivateVPN, SaferVPN, and Trust Zone.
Based in Sweden, Private VPN has great customer support and a strict no-logs policy to maximize your privacy.
SaferVPN originates in Israel and has a kill switch and does not store logs or IP addresses. It has 760+ servers in more than 35 countries.
Trust.Zone has unlimited speed, unlimited bandwidth and a kill switch for Windows Users. It is one of the most affordable VPN services around and has a great FAQ to answer questions on itself and VPNs in general.