Sun Sentinel Broward Edition

N. Korea warning on Instagram


Warnings are appearing on Instagram accounts in North Korea that say access to the popular photo-sharing app is being denied and that the site is blackliste­d for harmful content.

Opening the app with mobile devices on the North Korean carrier Koryolink has resulted in a notificati­on in English: “Warning! You can’t connect to this website because it’s in blacklist site.” A similar notice in Korean adds that the site contains harmful content.

Such warnings have also appeared when websites that link to Instagram are accessed through desktops or laptops using LAN cables on the North Korean Internet provider. The warnings have been appearing on and off for at least five days.

The Internet and any kind of social media remain off-limits to most North Koreans, but North Korea decided in 2013 to allow foreigners in the country to use 3G on their mobile phones, which generally require a local SIM card to get onto the Koryolink mobile carrier network.

Photos from North Korea on Instagram provide a rare window of daily life, but they have also posed a quandary for officials who are highly concerned about the flow of informatio­n.

It was unclear where the blockage was originatin­g, how widespread it was, or if it was a hack of some sort.

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