Russia Provides New Internet Connection To North Korea

Authored by Martyn Williams via,

A major Russian telecommunications company appears to have begun providing an Internet connection to North Korea. The new link supplements one from China and will provide back-up to Pyongyang at a time the US government is reportedly attacking its Internet infrastructure and pressuring China to end all business with North Korea.

The connection, from TransTeleCom, began appearing in Internet routing databases at 09:08 UTC on Sunday, or around 17:38 Pyongyang time on Sunday evening. Internet routing databases map the thousands of connections between telecom providers and enable computers to figure out the best route to a destination.

Until now, Internet users in North Korea and those outside accessing North Korean websites were all funneled along the same route connecting North Korean ISP Star JV and the global Internet: A China Unicom link that has been in operation since 2010.

Global Internet connectivity to Star JV. The orange denotes the China Unicom connection and blue the TransTeleCom. The graphic shows the Russian connection coming online around 0900 UTC, a short period of instability then a stable connection with two networks. (Dyn Research)

“The addition of Russian transit would create new internet path out of the country, increasing its resilience and international bandwidth capacity,” said Doug Madory, who analyzes global Internet connectivity at Dyn Research.

The new link comes at an interesting time.

On Saturday, The Washington Post reported that US Cyber Command has been carrying out denial of service attacks against North Korean hackers affiliated with the Reconnaissance General Bureau. The attacks attempt to overwhelm their computers and the Internet connection with traffic making them slow or impossible to use.

The US cyber attack was due to end on Saturday, reported the Post. That means the new Russian connection went online just after the US Cyber Command attack ended.

TransTeleCom, or TTK, is one of Russia’s biggest telecommunications companies and a subsidiary of the Russian railway operator. Fiber optic lines are laid alongside the railway and, according to a map on its website, on a route from Vladivostok right up to the North Korean border. 

A map of the TTK network shows a link running right up to the North Korean border.

That’s presumably at the Friendship Bridge, a railway crossing over the Tumen River that connects Khasan in Russia with Tumangang in North Korea. It’s the only connection between the two countries.

The Friendship Bridge connecting Russia (right) and North Korea (left). Photo: GoogleEarth.

This isn’t the first time North Korea has had alternate routes for Internet connectivity.

From 2012 for about a year, a second link to Star JV existed via Intelsat, an international satellite telecommunications operator, but in recent years the Chinese link has been the sole connection to Star JV.

Relying on one Internet provider has always left North Korea in a precarious situation.

More than once the link has been the target of denial of service attacks. Most were claimed by the “Anonymous” hacking collective, but on at least one previous occasion, many wondered if US intelligence services had carried out the action.

North Korea has few Internet users, but access to the network is available at major universities, to foreigners via smartphone, at government departments and major companies. Elite families are also suspected of having access. The cyber units of North Korea’s military also enjoy access.

The link is also vital for overseas researchers and academics who rely on access to North Korean state media websites for information.


Slack Jack IH8OBAMA Mon, 10/02/2017 - 14:13 Permalink

The Russia-China Plan For North Korea: Stability & Connectivity.

The United States Plan For North Korea: WAR.

Remember: The first rule for fighting a (real) war is to place your own puppet (Kim Jong Un) as the leader of the enemy (North Korea).

For an example of how real wars are fought,....

Proof that Adolf Hitler was a double agent.

It seems pretty weird when you first read it, but its clearly true.

In reply to by IH8OBAMA

The Wizard Belrev Mon, 10/02/2017 - 14:22 Permalink

Because those who control the petrodollar and US and The West hegemony are less threatening with military action, nations are re-aligning to bring greater equity to the currency markets. Currency wars do lead to military wars. Powerful military governments have been known to throw temper tantrums.

In reply to by Belrev

Mustafa Kemal The_Juggernaut Mon, 10/02/2017 - 13:52 Permalink

"Russia sure loves to prop up dictators."I cant figure out how many fallacies this involves. Its kind of like anadhominem, tu quoque, red herring strawman combo.In simple terms, it makes no sense to me whatsover.   Have you tried reading The Essential Saker?… certainly will begin by experiencing some serious cognitive dissonance, but it might help your sitiuation.

In reply to by The_Juggernaut

War Machine The_Juggernaut Mon, 10/02/2017 - 13:54 Permalink

Unlike the US, UK and Israel you mean?

Not sure providing an internet connection rises to the level of support but it's arguable.

Meanwhile the US continues to support Kurds, Al Nusra and ISIS…

shortly after US SF killed a Russian general who'd been making significant gains against ISIS while outflanking ISIS and Army SF.…

There's no question the US has supported directly and indirectly Christian murdering takfiri terrorists which, as always, provides the pretext for being illegally present in Syria to block Iranian pipelines and resupply to Hez and for Greater Israel- which has not bothered to hide its air and fire support for ISIS. Why bother with a Zionist/MIC controlled media and armies of paid trolls ready to accuse anyone not buying in to the Zionist/neocon lies of being a 'Russian troll.'

I don't think one needs to sniff a thing to just think you're a shithead.

In reply to by The_Juggernaut

Justin Case War Machine Mon, 10/02/2017 - 17:30 Permalink

There's no question the US has supported directly and indirectly Christian murdering takfiri terroristsBut it's okay b/c merica dunit, nobody else should look at merica as any leader. Only merica has free range on the globe to trot and blow up things, kill millions of people, but if someone else tries to match or contain the lawless country they are enemies of planet earth. Can't merica just focus on wrecking one country at a time? Finish off Venezeula b4 destroying another.People voted for Trump for the following reasons:1. He wasn’t that evil hateful shrew named Hillary Clinton2. He promised to repeal and replace Obamacare3. He promised to build the wall4. He promised to keep out Muslims5. He promised to reduce our military interventions around the world <--=FAIL6. He promised to reduce my taxesWell, one out of six ain’t bad. Right? He gets a D- on his performance

In reply to by War Machine

Justin Case Omen IV Mon, 10/02/2017 - 17:36 Permalink

Gee I need time. They don't teach that history in school, but hey, stand up for the flag to support them. As has been explained by geopolitical analysts since 2011, terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and their various rebrandings are far from being the West’s true adversaries. Besides being funded, armed, and backed by the West’s closest and oldest Middle Eastern allies – particularly the Saudis and Qataris – these terrorist organizations serve a two-fold purpose. First, they serve as a mercenary army with which the West fights targeted nations by proxy. Second, they serve as a pretext for direct Western military intervention when proxy war fails or is not an option.This was first illustrated with the very inception of Al Qaeda in the 1980s where it was used as a proxy force by the US and Saudis to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. In 2001, the presence of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was used as a pretext for a US invasion and occupation that endures to this very day.As of 2011, literally these very same terrorists were organized, armed, funded, and provided with NATO aircover to overthrow the government of Libya. From there, they were rearmed and shipped to NATO-member Turkey where they then invaded northern Syria, and more specifically Idlib and the pivotal city of Aleppo.

In reply to by Omen IV

Tjeff1 Mon, 10/02/2017 - 13:13 Permalink

"""The cyber units of North Korea’s military also enjoy access."""enjoy?!   I am sure they love seeing how great NK life is.

wisebastard Mon, 10/02/2017 - 13:14 Permalink

the real sad part is for the last 10 years america has been chasing unicorn rights while china and russia have been preparing for war. the US wont see it hit them 

DeeZ_nutZ Mon, 10/02/2017 - 13:23 Permalink

and rocket engines with detailed blueprints and "how to" for nukes....  nah....  bullshit, russians wouldn't do it, it's the nazis from ukraine, everybody knows that.