NK’s Country Domain ‘.KP’ Gets Nod

Korea Times
Jane Han

Its just a matter of time before North Korea meets the world through the World Wide Web, as its domain “.kp” has recently been delegated for use.

The domain .kp _ short for Korea, Democratic People’s Republic _ allocated to North Korea, but currently not in use, has been officially designated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to be managed by the Pyongyang-based Korea Computer Center (KCC).

The international organization’s board voted unanimously in mid-September to accept KCC’s request to activate the domain.

Although an initial request was made in 2004, ICAAN declined permission due to the country’s lack of technology, management and governmental support.

The domain has been officially listed with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), allowing Web sites to be managed like other country domains, such as .jp (Japan) and .kr (Korea, Republic of).

Experts predict that the opening of the web domain may serve as a gateway to link the reclusive nation to the global community.

However, North Korean officials have been quoted as saying, “The domain will be strictly managed under the guidance of the central government.”

The North Korean government operates a handful of official and unofficial Web sites on computer servers based in other nations. Most of them are used to promote the country to foreigners, but access from South Korea is blocked by the South’s authorities due to its decades-old laws on national security.


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