The secretive, hermetic People's Republic of North Korea appears to have blocked access to popular social networking service Instagram within its borders

north-korea

Eric Talmadge (Instagram)

The Associated Press has reported that warnings have started appearing on Instagram account in North Korea, telling users that access to the service is being denied.

Journalist Eric Talmadge posted on his own Instagram page a screenshot of the warning, which says in English: “You can”t connect to this website because it’s in blacklist site”

‘These warnings have been popping up on Instagram when the app is opened on mobile phones in Pyongyang,’ he said in the image description.

There has been no official statement made by the North Korean government on the issue, and the North Korean mobile carrier Koryolink said that it was unaware of any changes in governmental policy.

Photojournalist David Guttenfelder, who has won widespread acclaim for his images of the secretive nation, said to The Verge: ‘There’s no better place to test the power of photography and social media than a place like North Korea.

‘The photography that has been posted has been a really important part of illuminating a country that we don’t know anything about… I think it’s a shame if they aren’t able to continue to do it.’

Social media has only been used at all in North Korea since 2013 when the country started to allow foreign visitors to use 3G on their phones.

Since then other photographers like Guttenfelder and tour guide Drew Kelly have documented their experiences in the country and provided a glimpse into the lives of ordinary North Koreans.

It is still unclear where the ban originated and what other sites may be affected.