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North Korea opens up mobile Internet (visitors only)

Posting in Finance

North Korea has opened a sliver of access to mobile Internet within the country.

If you're a regular citizen, then you're out of luck. But if you're a foreigner visiting the country, like say Google Chairman Eric Schmidt or former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, you will soon be able to browse the Internet from your smart phone, iPad or other mobile devices, reported AP.

Koryolink, a joint venture between Egyptian company Orascom Telecom Holding and state-owned Korea Post and Telecommunications Corp., will give foreigners access to 3G mobile Internet service by March 1.

The decision follows Schmidt's highly publicized visit to North Korea last month, when he pushed officials to open up the Internet. Schmidt's visit, which was criticized at the time, appears to have produced some positive results. Still, the Internet as much of the rest of the world knows it, is off-limits to all, but a select group within the country.

The last "breakthrough" for foreigners came a few weeks ago when North Korea began allowing visitors to bring their own cellphones into the country via a Koryolink-issed SIM card. Visitors used to have to leave their devices with customs during their stay.

Related: How Google mapped North Korea

Photo: Flickr user stephan, CC 2.0

— By on February 22, 2013, 3:00 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure