Back in August reports coming out of North Korea claimed that their new airport terminal had an “internet room” which, contrary to its name, didn’t have any actual connection to the internet. But that seems to have changed.
NK News spotted this video from the Pyongyang Sunan airport:
It’s notoriously difficult to get reliable news out of the world’s most secretive country. But here we have proof that, at least for a little while, North Korea’s latest shiny new airport terminal had unfiltered access to things like Facebook and the New York Times.
The catch? You probably have to be a foreigner.
“The North Korean guy (in charge of the room) was very friendly to us, he only asked for our passport. In the end I gave mine,” an anonymous foreign visitor to the new internet room told NK News. “I suppose North Koreans who get permission to travel abroad would be ok to use it, but I am speculating.”
The average North Korean does have access to a kind of intranet inside the country which replicates the real internet in a Truman Show-esque way. But if you’re planning a trip to North Korea, you can probably assume that by using their new internet at the airport you’ll be setting yourself up for even more monitoring than the average foreigner.
“If a visitor to the DPRK happened to use it at the start of their trip and had their digital credentials ‘hoovered up’ by the system, the powers that be would be in an unusually good position to monitor them for the rest of the visit,” a technical advisor at NK News said in a recent report.
You’ve been warned. For those of you all rushing to visit North Korea, I guess.
(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)