In isolated and government-controlled North Korea, students are being given a surprisingly liberal opportunity. According to The Korea Times, a widely circulated English-language daily newspaper in South Korea, some students at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) are accessing the Internet, albeit for purely research-oriented purposes. PUST is a private university established in 2010 by a South Korean non-profit organization, operated by outside groups, and receives much of its funding from contributions from evangelical Christian groups in South Korea and the United States.
PUST chancellor, Park Chan-mo, says the university has been providing Internet access since last fall as part of its mission to become a “globalized university.” Students access the Web at a digital library and have reportedly used Google for school projects. This shockingly permissive opportunity “appears to be the latest experiment by Pyongyang to allow greater access to technology.” It is unclear if students are being monitored; regardless, it’s a big step for PUST, and even more so for the country.
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