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North Korea Online Gambling Site Sparks Interest

19 January 2004

NORTH KOREA – As reported by the Korean Times: ``The online bulletin board of an inter-Korean venture based in North Korea has become wildly popular with South Korean Internet users.

``The site in question is a free board open to all users at www.jupae.com, a gambling site operated by North Koreans using South Korean technology and capital.

``More than 14,000 messages have been posted on the bulletin board since May 2002, two months after the launch of the main site.

``…Some 10 North Korean women, recent college graduates, manage the bulletin board from their office in Pyongyang, according to Kim Bum-hoon, president of Hoonnet, the South Korean company which set up the site jointly with the North.

``However, the site faces closure with South Korea's Unification Ministry set to revoke Hoonnet¡s license to do business in North Korea.

``Ministry officials said this is because the company never got the approval from the government to run a gambling site, with its original plan confined to developing computer software…"

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