North Korea removes warnings from Instagram accounts

Instagram appears to be back to normal in North Korea after a week of warnings on user accounts saying the popular photo-sharing app had been blacklisted for harmful content.

Virtually no North Koreans have free access to the Internet or any kind of social media. But foreigners have been able since 2013 to use the Internet and read email with 3G on their mobile devices within the country on the local carrier, Koryolink.

That opened the door for them to post freely to sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, giving outsiders a chance to see what life is really like in the hermit state.

A photo posted by erictalmadge (@erictalmadge) on

Instagram access was disrupted for about a week, with warnings appearing in English and Korean that it had been put on a blacklist for harmful content.

Koryolink said this week that they did not know why the warnings were appearing and said there was no official announcement from the government in Pyongyang on Instagram usage. Instagram owner Facebook was working as normal in North Korea this week.

The warnings disappeared late Wednesday and Instagram was functioning normally Thursday.

It is not clear exactly why the Pyongyang government moved to limit access to Instagram, though some people have linked it to the sharing of photographs of a hotel fire in the capital on June 11.

(READ MORE: Did Thai university reject transgender lecturer because of an Instagram post?)

Additional reporting from Associated Press