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Computer Network Rapidly Expanding in DPRK: A Glimpse of Recent Achievements in Computer Technology in DPRK

People’s Korea, 21 February 2001

LINUX Korean Version Developed in DPRK

Young computer programmers at the Korea Computer Center (KCC) developed Korean LINUX Operating System, which was another sign of the development of the DPRK’s computer programmings.

LINUX, which was developed by a Finnish student in 1991, is one of the computer operating system, which is the basic program for operating application software.

Improving the LINUX program in accordance with the situation in the country’s computer development, programmers at the KCC completed a LINUX program which works on the Korean language.

The program contents of LINUX are publicly open on the Internet. LINUX has improved in its performance, as computer fans throughout the world worked together in cyberspace, each bringing new programs, revising inadequacies in the existing LINUX programs.

Rapidly Expanding Intra Computer Network in DPRK

The Kwangmyong nationwide computer network is rapidly expanding in the DPRK.

According to the official Korean Central News Agency, client terminal computers which receive services of the network increased by over 1.7 times over last year, and in the last two years, this data-retrieving network has grown 460 percent. The Kwangmyong computer network, which is administrated and operated by the Central Scientific and Technological Information Agency, is developed in 1997 to provide materials related with science and technology to people, universities and research institutes of the DPRK.

Based on the successful development of the computer reference system for the material of science and technology, scientists and engineers of the agency built the nationwide computer network for retrieving scientific and technological data and now go ahead with the plan to expand the network.

The DPRK’s original computer network, Kwangmyong, covers several kinds of sub-divisional networks among state agencies and public facilities, such as the Kim Il Sung University, the Grand People’s Study House, the Invention Bureau of the National Academy of Sciences, committees and ministries of the Cabinet and the state agencies, and regional networks among provinces.

Scientific research institutes and universities in various places of the DPRK, terminal units of factories and complexes of each field of the national economy also join in the network.

The Kwangmyong network system offers a technological data-searching, e-mail, website search and file transmission services.

Clients can access the database of the Central Scientific and Technological Information Agency and materials of other institutes and agencies, and can retrieve data and materials from them. They also conveniently exchange data and documents necessary to solve issues related to the party’s line and other urgent problems.

Numbers of scientists and engineers access scientific and technological documents and foreign scientific and technological materials through the network’s services to solve their technological problems on the improvement of the people’s life.

Digital Publication and E-Mail Data Reference Service

In accordance with rapid progress in computer technology and its widespread utilization in many fields, the CSTIA has recently intensified digital publishing services in the DPRK.

In order to meet users’ request, it also publishes digital publications of various kinds. For instance, the agency provides subject-by-subject databases, digital editions of encyclopedias, books, magazines, and computer programs memorized in various kinds of storage media such as CD, MO disks, and other storage media.

Its e-mail service enables users to request necessary information and documents and receive these materials promptly and correctly from the agency. Network users can also exchange data with each other to efficiently promote research and production and management activities.

In addition, BBSs (Bulletin Board Systems) are available in the computer network. Users contribute their articles on the board and read others’ articles to widely exchange views with each other. The CSTIA provides various kinds of foreign science magazines through the network.