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North Korea blocks 3G access for foreigners and visitors

North Korea’s only mobile provider, Koryolink, has blocked foreigners from accessing the internet via 3G-enabled devices.

The shutdown may be temporary, with Koryolink releasing an English-language statement saying: “Unfortunately, we are facing internet service outage from the local internet provider’s side with no estimated time, we will keep you posted once the service is back to normal.”

Foreigners and visitors to North Korea are able to purchase 3G SIM cards and access the internet in the isolated nation, although subscriptions typically only last as long as their visas. The government generally does not allow North Koreans unrestricted access to the internet.

No definitive reason has been given for the shutdown, although the outage was implemented the day after a fire at a major Pyongyang hotel, the Koryo. Nothing indicates that the two events are related.

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