According to reports, North Korea's dot-kp top-level domain could be returning to the internet after being offline for months. A few domain names registered under dot-kp became unavailable beginning in the third quarter of 2010 when the domain name servers responsible for them went offline. The exact nature of the months-long outage remains unclear, but on Monday the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) pointed the domain to new servers in a first step toward bringing it back online.
Dot-kp was first assigned in 2007 to Korea Computer Center Europe, a Berlin-based offshoot of the Korea Computer Center in Pyongyang. KCC Europe operated the domain and several North Korean-related websites from servers in Germany until last year, when all went offline at about the same time. E-mail messages and phone calls to KCC Europe and Holtermann have gone unanswered. The new servers do not yet appear to be online, but IANA's records now point to North Korean Internet addresses. The servers carry the "kptc.kp" name, which is probably a reference to Korea Posts and Telecommunications Corp., the country's official telecommunications carrier.
These developments will bear watching as North Korea's overall strategy for use of the internet develops.