North Korea is always living in secrecy and now, Koryolink, North Korea’s only mobile phone provider, announced that foreign visitors will no longer be able to access 3G networks.
Beginning in 2013, foreign visitors to North Korea can pay for 3G access by purchasing a 3G sim card, which allows nearly unrestricted access to international website pages. Although, in the past they have placed restrictions on foreigners Internet access. Subscriptions bought by foreigners usually only last for the duration of their visas.
These circumstances were announced Friday after Pyongyang’s Koryo Hotel caught fire. It is unclear clear if the fire affected the network service.
The provider, Koryolink, sent a notice to English subscribers that was seen by Reuters, which stated:
“Unfortunately we are facing internet service outage from the local internet provider’s side with no estimated time, we will keep you posted once the service is back to normal.”
Notably, only approximately only 2.4 million residents or 10 percent of the North Korean population are phone subscribers. North Korean citizens only have access to restricted domestic content instead of the global Internet, except on rare occasions.