Martyn Williams


38 North

Martyn Williams is a Fellow with the Stimson Center, where he works primarily with the 38 North project. His primary interests are in North Korea’s technology, infrastructure, broadcasting system and propaganda. He launched the North Korea Tech website in 2010 and has closely followed the country’s steps onto the global Internet.

Mr Williams is originally from the United Kingdom and has been based in the United States since 2011 after living for 16 years in Tokyo, Japan. He was previously a journalist for IDG News Service, a technology newswire, in both Tokyo and San Francisco and was a 2011-12 Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

He is also an author for the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea and wrote “Digital Trenches: North Korea’s Information Counter-Offensive.”


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Thousands of New Dwellings Declared Complete in Samjiyon

This article was originally published in 38 North.

North Korea’s Post-Typhoon House-Building Boom

This article was originally published in 38 North.

Pyongyang Gears Up for Major Workers’ Party Anniversary Events

Originally published on

Science and Technology Education in North Korea Enters the 21st Century

North Korea is moving ahead with a comprehensive reform of its education system that puts science and technology at its center. Plans were approved at a cabinet meeting over the weekend and follow a call by Kim Jong Un in September to improve the level…

North Korea’s Koryolink: Built for Surveillance and Control

Eavesdropping and network security were the top concerns of the North Korean government in the months before Koryolink, the country’s current mobile network service, was launched in December 2008, according to minutes of a May 28, 2008 meeting in Kuala…

Manbang IPTV Service in Depth

It has been two and a half years since North Korean TV showcased a new IP streaming television service called “Manbang” (만방). Since then, it occasionally appears in state media but it’s still largely a mystery. The Manbang service is quite impressive i…

Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Address: The Art of Propaganda

Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s address got a makeover in 2019. Gone was the lectern and flowers in front of a large assembly hall, and in came an armchair and a more relaxed style. KCTV thankfully got rid of most of the absurd recorded applause that punctuat…

North Korean Media: KCTV’s Coverage of Kim Jong Un’s Diplomatic Push in 2018

North Korea’s state broadcaster, Korean Central Television (KCTV), has had to tread a fine line covering this year’s international summits and diplomatic events. On the one hand, the numerous summits have been something to hail, having put Kim Jong Un…

North Korea’s Wi-Fi Story: The Mirae is Today

Korean Central Television recently broadcast a couple of reports about a new outdoor wireless data service in Pyongyang. The service is apparently based on Wi-Fi but unusually requires a SIM card for access. It’s called “Mirae,” which means “future,” a…

North Korea and the Internet: Building for the Future

Construction of the new Internet Communication Bureau headquarters (평양인터네트통신국건설) in Pyongyang appears to be near externally complete, more than two years after it first broke ground. The purpose of the agency is unclear, although it appears to be focus…

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