A computer room equipped with access to Kwangmyong at the Grand People's Study House in Pyongyang. Photo: Wikipedia

Website 38 North reports that a major Russian telecom company appears to have begun providing an Internet connection to North Korea.

The site, hosted by the US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, says the new link supplements one from China. It will reportedly provide back-up to Pyongyang at a time the US government is reportedly attacking its internet infrastructure and pressuring China to end all business with North Korea.

38 North says the connection, from Russian-based TransTeleCom, began appearing in internet routing databases at 09:08 UTC on Sunday, or around 17:38 Pyongyang time on Sunday evening. Internet routing databases track the thousands of connections between telecom providers and enable computers to pinpoint the best route to a destination.

Until now, internet users in North Korea and those outside accessing North Korean websites were all funneled along the same route connecting North Korean ISP Star JV and the global internet: a China Unicom link that has been in operation since 2010.