Reporter sends what may be first tweet from North Korea

'Hello world from comms center in Pyongyang'

A reporter working for the Associated Press in Korea sent out what may have been the very first tweet from North Korea.

Jean H. Lee writes that she made history on Feb. 25 when she posted this experiment using her iPhone in downtown Pyongyang.


The Tweet was made over a 3G network, which was a joint project between North Korea and Egyptian contractors.

Previously, reporters entering the country were made to check their smartphones and had to buy new phones upon entering the country, writes Lee in an essay about her first tweet: “In 2009, I did not offer up my iPhone as we went through customs. But to no avail. The eagle-eyed officer dug deep into the pocket where I’d tucked the phone away, wagged his finger and slipped the phone into a little black bag.”

Those rules were changed in January, but the new 3G mobile Internet is only for foreigners, who must pay a 75-Euro fee to access it.

Besides her tweet, Lee also uploaded several photos to Instagram from within the country. And what should one of the first Instagram images from inside the country be? Food, obviously.

As the Washington Post points out, Lee’s photos are stunning, but they’re not actually the first Instagram photos from within the country. That credit could go to David Guttenfelder, the AP’s chief Asia photographer, who is worth following on Instagram.