clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

North Korea's Internet Connection Unstable for Second Day

Down, up, down and up again.

Katherine Welles/Shutterstock

Internet connections in North Korea appeared to suffer a second day of intermittent disruptions after a period of recovery overnight.

The latest disruption was monitored by DYN Research, a company that tracks the performance of the Internet’s infrastructure, which reported its status on Twitter. The latest outage lasted less than an hour beginning at 7:41 am PT with restoration occurring at 8:12 am.

Service was restored early Tuesday following a disruption that began on Sunday and extended into Monday. The country “struggled” to keep its Internet connections running during the night, the firm said.

The service disruptions occurred days after President Obama promised to respond to the devastating hacking attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. The U.S. government has blamed North Korea, saying it was in retaliation for a Sony-produced comedy film about a CIA-backed assassination attempt on the country’s leader. A group calling itself the Guardians of Peace has taken credit for the attacks, and has released tens of thousands of embarrassing emails and other sensitive documents plus five motion pictures to file-sharing sites.

The country’s limited Internet infrastructure came under what DYN lead analyst Doug Madory called “signs of distress” early Sunday. Speculation quickly turned to a possible cyber attack by the U.S. or another country. U.S. officials have denied involvement in the disruptions.

The Internet isn’t widely available to the population of North Korea, where access to information from the outside world is strictly controlled. Access is thought to be limited to high-ranking officials in the government and the military, plus the members of a few influential families close to leader Kim Jong-un. More people have access to a government-controlled Intranet.

North Korea has four networks connected to the Internet, and the only connections come in by way of China. The links are supplied by a joint venture called Star JV co-owned by North Korea’s Post and Telecommunications Corporation and a Thailand-based company called Loxley Pacific. Star’s connectivity is supplied by China Unicom and Intelsat.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.