September 23, 2020

The strange reason North Korean email addresses are designed to fail

North Korean factories and service providers increasingly embrace the web, but emails remain a major business setback

North Korea is becoming increasingly digitized: In recent years, official websites promoting the services of state tourism companies have cropped up on the web. The DPRK's Foreign Trade Publishing House puts out a quarterly online magazine that advertises North Korean products for export. Kim Il Sung University took up an online presence in hopes of attracting students from foreign countries, and an online shopping hub promotes locally-produced commodities.

But despite North Korea's ever-expanding efforts to promote its products and services overseas, a fundamental problem sets back the vast majority of this work: email addresses that bounce all communications.