First-ever Instagram pictures from North Korea via 3G?

North Korea has opened up access to the Internet via mobile data, but it's not yet available to citizens.

Is this the first Instagram picture from North Korea? Maybe via 3G.

Associated Press reporter Jean Lee sent out the picture above on Monday after mobile operator Koryolink opened 3G mobile data services to foreigners last week, Fast Company reported.

Within minutes, media organizations had posted the photo, asking whether it was the first Instagram photo from North Korea.

According to The Verge, North Korea had given the green light for access to the Internet via mobile data, but it won't be available to ordinary citizens.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt visited North Korea recently, making the case for "free and open" Internet, arguing that living in isolation would hamper the country's economic success.

Visitors to North Korea are now allowed to come into the country with their cellphones. Under the old policy, they were required to hand over cellphones at the border.

Lee took the photograph of a lone man walking by signs welcoming nuclear scientists to North Korea when she was in the country's capital, Pyongyang, two weeks ago.

"My first tweet using #Koryolink's new mobile #Internet service. Hello world from comms center in #Pyongyang," Lee tweeted, posting the Instagram picture on Twitter.

Since then, Lee has also posted an Instagram picture of a Christmas tree that's still standing at the Potonggang Hotel in Pyongyang and an image of Pyongyang noodles, among others.

First Instagram photo from North Korea?: Twitter screen grab of @newsjean.Twitter

It's not clear whether the Korean government has issued any guidelines about using Instagram. Lee says on Twitter that she is photographing fairly freely from North Korea, even with locals present.

She adds that the 3G service in North Korea is very expensive.

A source at AP told Fast Company that Lee isn't the first reporter to use Instagram form North Korea: AP's chief Asia photographer David Guttenfelder has been posting pictures on Instagram from the country for quite a while now by turning his laptop into a hotspot to link his iPhone by Wi-Fi.

On Tuesday, Lee tweeted that former basketball star Dennis Rodman was being mobbed by the foreign press corps in North Korea. Rodman is in North Korea to promote basketball in the country.

Related: Dennis Rodman arrives in North Korea for 'basketball diplomacy'

Rodman himself tweeted about the visit, saying, "It's true, I'm in North Korea. Looking forward to sitting down with Kim Jung Un. I love the people of North Korea. #WORMinNorthKorea"


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