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A Rare Glimpse At North Korea’s Tech Culture

10 March 2013 No Comment

North Koreans are beginning to get access to cellphones, tablets, and even social networking. But freedom of speech is still elusive.

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Another #NKorean propaganda poster touting use of #technology in farming. #nksocial From Jean H. Lee

Via: instagram.com

Last week North Korea launched its first 3G data network. Access is severely limited — citizens can’t access the network, while foreigners can — which allowed Associated Press reporter Jean H. Lee to be the first person ever to send a tweet from the country. It's a big step forward, considering that back in 2008, when Lee first entered North Korea, she and other foreigners had to leave their smart phones at the airport.

BuzzFeed met Lee at South By Southwest where she shared insight into North Korea's small but growing tech culture. While reporting on North Korea with photographer David Guttenfelder, she has been posting photos to Instagram and tweeting with regularity. The first photo she posted was of a sign welcoming nuclear testing scientists to Pyongyang for celebrations, which for her and others in North Korea was a signal that, at least for a couple days, there wouldn't be any nuclear tests — the scientists would be otherwise occupied.

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Lee's first Instagram of North Korea:

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Via: instagram.com

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