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North Korea allows Internet searches (for foreigners only)

The country with the worst ICT connectivity happens to be in our region, the Asia Pacific. But Google’s Eric Schmidt, again demonstrating the value of engagement, appears to have opened the door another few milimeters, according to IHT:

North Korea will finally allow Internet searches on mobile devices and laptops. But if you’re a North Korean, you’re out of luck — only foreigners will get this privilege.

Cracking the door open slightly to wider Internet use, the government will allow a company called Koryolink to give foreigners access to 3G mobile Internet service by March 1, The Associated Press reported.

The decision, announced Friday, comes a month after Google’s chairman, Eric E. Schmidt, visited Pyongyang and prodded officials on allowing Internet access, noting how easy it would be to set up through Koryolink’s expanding 3G network. Presumably, his appeal was directed at giving North Koreans such capability.

Koryolink is N Korea’s sole mobile provider, owned and operated by Orascom, a story we have followed from the start.

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