North Korea Accidentally Leaks Propaganda Websites
Ashley Allen / 3 years ago
The totalitarian state of North Korea has accidentally released information regarding its government-run propaganda sites, which previously were only viewable within the country itself. 28 websites with the .kp domain became available outside of North Korea, which were then scraped by an industrious Github user, who then uploaded links and zone files pertaining to the nation’s secret sites.
“On Sept 19, 2016 at approximately 10:00PM (PDT), one of North Korea’s top level nameservers was accidentally configured to allow global DNS zone transfers,” Github user zdroid wrote. “This allows anyone who performs an AXFR (zone transfer) request to the country’sns2.kptc.kp nameserver to get a copy of the nation’s top level DNS data. This was detected by the TLDR Project – an effort to attempt zone transfers against all top level domain (TLD) nameservers every two hours and keep a running Github repo with the resulting data. This data gives us a better picture of North Korea’s domains and top level DNS.”
North Korean citizens only have limited internet access, allowed to view only websites deemed appropriate by the state. No websites outside of North Korea are legally accessible, so its people only see and hear what it government wants them to.
Most of the sites are focused on massaging the ego of esteemed North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, reporting the “Supreme Leader’s” daily activities and contributions to the lives of his citizens. The rest of the sites tend to report on South Korea, the arch nemesis of its Northern counterpart, plus its enemies in the US, and even Peru(?).
An example of a .kp domain, translated into English (via Crave):
The page – rodong.rep.kp – (laughingly) accuses, Park Geun Hye, the democratically-elected President of South Korea, of human rights abuses and terrorism.
“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,” the Rodong editorial reads. “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.”
“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,” the editorial adds. “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.”
In a nutshell, the government-run .kp sites tend to adulate Kim Jong-un, hail North Korea as the greatest country on the material plain, and accuse every other government on the planet of being abusive fascists. Nothing unexpected, but the leak does give us a rare glimpse into how North Korean citizens experience the internet.