North Korea has put out an official announcement that will see Facebook, YouTube, Twitter as well as all “sex and adult websites” blocked for an undisclosed period of time.
The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications announced the ban this week via the country’s leading mobile service provider, Korylink, Associated Press reports.
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A number of online gambling platforms and South Korean media outlets will also be included in the list of blocked websites.
Interestingly, Instagram is still up and running despite having been restricted for a short time back in June last year.
This move will presumably have little impact on North Korean citizens who’ve always had very limited opportunities to surf the Web with unrestricted access.
While North Korea’s residents have always been subject to a fair amount of information control, visitors to the country had been able to access many sites that locals could not. This is no longer the case, following the introduction of the new regulations.
The announcement further clarifies that users who seek “improper” alternatives to access any of the banned websites will be liable to punishment under North Korean law. There’s no mention of what such punishments could involve.
Given the country’s aspirations to attract two million tourists each year by 2020, the new restrictions will likely put a dent in North Korea’s ambitions to boost tourism.