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Foreigners now denied Facebook and Twitter as North Korea orders blanket ban

October 30, 2014, 14:51 UTC+3 PYONGYANG

For locals denied Internet access, the domestic network known as Kwangmyong is the only source of information

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© AP Photo/David Guttenfelder

PYONGYANG, October 30. /TASS/. Authorities in North Korea have imposed a blanket ban on all access to Facebook and Twitter throughout the reclusive state. This ends access to services in practice already available only to diplomatic missions and international humanitarian organizations in the capital, says the TASS correspondent there.

It is unclear whether the ban is temporary or permanent, the correspondent says.

This is the state's latest crackdown on communications. For locals denied Internet access, the domestic network known as Kwangmyong is the sole source of information, bringing citizens reports on activities of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the country’s leadership and scientific achievements.

In September, authorities banned foreigners working in the country from using Wi-Fi. The national radio wave detection department said this was done to ensure the country’s security and demanded removal of communication systems installed without official permission. Heavy fines or confiscation of equipment were threatened for non-compliance.

Instalment of wireless and communications satellite systems by foreign missions must now be coordinated with local authorities "in line with national law regulating radio frequencies,” the enforcer said.

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