This VOA article alerted us to the fact that there is a new North Korean website, the aim of which seems to be informing the outside world about society, politics, tourism and perhaps most importantly, the economics of the DPRK.
Of interest to us is the economics page, which has a fairly comprehensive list of the laws and regulations foreigners interested in the DPRK need to know. This is something we've continually impressed upon our audiences in Choson Exchange workshops: that they need to provide more information on the web and provide it more effectively. Finding DPRK laws, regulations and other resources can often be a ponderous affair and this site seems to begin to address this. It will probably also be used to help promote economy-related events; this year, our website was the first to propagate Rason Trade Fairs dates and promotion materials because they simply lacked the outlet to do so themselves. This, of course, is suboptimal.
Interestingly, the tone of the site is less hyperbolic than other official sites out there. It's still distinctly North Korean, but there is less glorification and exaltation about it. It strikes a less combative chord, offering what would read as a more 'normal' resource for introducing a country.
Curiously, however, the site is only in Korean. This could mean two things: first, it is solely for the use of overseas Koreans, whom we know North Korean officials hope will help invest in the country the way overseas Chinese did for the PRC in the 1980s; second, they've launched the Korean language site first and will be following up with other languages soon when ready. Let's hope its the latter.
Regardless, it demonstrates a growing awareness that use of and connectivity to the web are crucial to the success of any business venture.