March 01, 2021

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Phoning it in: North Korea’s archaic (and expensive) international call system

Calling Pyongyang is relatively straightforward - if you have the patience, the time and the money

North Korea strictly controls information flow by placing a multitude of restrictions on its domestic communications infrastructure. The state almost completely prohibits access to the internet, closely surveils cell phone usage and exclusively manages domestic media production.

Despite this, North Korea accepts calls to its landline system from almost anywhere in the world. Contacting key offices, businesses and public institutions is relatively straightforward, as long as one doesn't mind the expensive call charges and understands how the system works.