Reports about imminent approval of North Korea country code domain name are misleading, says ICANN.
A new country code domain for North Korea? Not really.
Last week, media reports starting surfacing that ICANN would approve .KP as the country code domain for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) at the upcoming upcoming ICANN meeting in Los Angeles, California. In reality, .KP has always been assigned as the country code for North Korea. The operation of country code domains are in the jurisdiction of the country to which it is assigned, and ICANN has little role in that process. As ICANN explains on its web site:
The operation of a country’s ccTLD is an internal matter for each country and its local Internet community. In support of this, ICANN is responsible for delegating authority for the operation of ccTLDs to a specific operator based upon requests received from the country and its local Internet community. ICANN’s evaluation is focused on verifying the validity of the request, and ensuring it meets a number of technically-focused criteria. Apart from this analysis, the selection of both the operator, and the method of operation of a ccTLD is a matter for countries and local Internet communities to decide.
Perhaps the confusion is because ICANN recently received a request to delegate the domain:
At the present time there is no delegated operator for the .KP domain, but ICANN has received a request to delegate the domain. This request was discussed by the ICANN Board at its meeting on 14 August 2007…No decision was made on the delegation during this meeting.
At this time the issues slated for discussion at the board meeting in Los Angeles have yet to be determined.
Some of the media stories quotes Suh Jae-Chul as being a member of the ICANN board, which is false:
As well, media reports have quoted Suh Jae-Chul as a member of the ICANN board, though this person is not on ICANN’s board, nor has been authorized to speak on ICANN’s behalf.