“From Russia , with Internet- starring Kim-Jong Un”

3
North Korea

It hasn’t been a month of the infamous missile testing By North Korea. In a major show of defiance to the international community, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido on 15th September despite of the new sanctions issued by United Nations. North Korea challenged the world with a commentary published in the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, stating “no matter how strong the pressure is, it doesn’t work on us.” The launch also seemed to be intended to send a message to the US, flying a distance equivalent to that from North Korea to Guam, the US territory that has come under threat from Pyongyang in recent weeks. Due to all these notorious behavior by North Korea, Its powerful ally China was forced to retaliate resulting in lot of sanctions from Beijing.

The Chinese ministry of commerce said in a statement that exports of refined petroleum products would be limited from 1 October and exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas would be stopped immediately to comply with the UN sanctions. In this situation of complete isolation from the world, North Korea seems to have a new major power by its side and shockingly it’s none other than Moscow. This new alliance is not in terms of military resources or food but in a complete unusual thing, especially when  we talk in the perspective of north Korea.

 

A major Russian telecommunications company TransTeleCom appears to have begun providing an Internet connection to North Korea. The new connection appeared in internet routing registry’s databases at 14:38 IST on Sunday, or around 1738 Pyongyang time. An Internet Routing Registry (IRR) is a database of Internet route objects for determining, and sharing route and related information used for configuring routers, with a view to avoiding problematic issues between Internet service providers.

 

The Internet routing registry works by providing an interlinked hierarchy of objects designed to facilitate the organization of IP routing between organizations, and also to provide data in an appropriate format for automatic programming of routers. Network engineers from participating organizations are authorized to modify the Routing Policy Specification Language (RPSL) objects, in the registry, for their own networks. Then, any network engineer, or member of the public, is able to query the route registry for particular information of interest. (Source- Wikipedia)

Until Now, The handful of Internet Users in North Korea and those accessing the North Korean websites from outside world were funneled through a same route connecting them to North Korea’s very own service provider Star JV and China’s Global Internet which was operating there since 2010. Addition of this Russian ISP will lead to creation of a new internet path in country eventually increasing its bandwidth capacity i.e. no more slow north Korean websites.

 

This new Link has come into existence in a very interesting time slot, On Saturday it was reported by Washington Post that U.S. Cyber Command was secretly carrying out numerous cyber-attack on north Korea which was due to end on Saturday and this new connection started to show up on the Internet maps just after the ending of alleged Cyber Attacks by U.S. Relying on one internet provider at one time has always led North Korea in a state of uncertainty but now the notorious regime seems to have got a new friend.

Although, Internet is way more luxurious in North Korea but all the major Universities, Government Departments and Major Companies of the country have access to it. Foreigners visiting the nation and Elite families also enjoy this perk but are always under the watch of secret police. Addition to this Cyber Unit of North Korean Military also enjoys this facility. Before this incident Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged “hot heads” of both the nations to calm down, calling an escalating war of words between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un “a kindergarten fight”. It will be too sooner to call it a Russia-North Korea aliment but it shows that Moscow has a soft corner for Pyongyang.

 

Report based on experts from 38North website which is project of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).