Monday, May 02, 2011

North Korea crackdown on mobile phones

North Korea has started a drive to confiscate mobile phones in an attempt to suppress news from the outside world, a group of North Korean defectors said.

North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity said in its latest newsletter police in North Hamkyong and Yangkang provinces bordering Russia and China have started urging residents to voluntarily surrender mobile phones or face punishment. It cited sources in the border cities of Hyesan and Hoeryong.

The police warned that special devices to detect mobile phone use had been brought in to punish "those spreading capitalist ideas and eroding socialism", the group quoted one of the sources as saying.

Many residents in border areas that can receive mobile reception from China are known to use smuggled phones to talk to relatives and friends who escaped the impoverished state to settle in China or South Korea.

At present users restrict conversations to five minutes, the minimum time authorities need to trace a call, said the source.

1 comment:

Anthony Palmer, Ph.D. said...

I really enjoy reading this blog. I hope you can someday provide links to the articles you cite so we can read about these stories in more detail. Keep up the good work.