Cell phone users in North Korea to be punished as ‘war criminals’

The lifestyle of citizens in North Korea has been of major controversy in recent news, and now the government is revoking even more privileges from the country’s natives — privileges that affect the use of beloved mobile phones. In the 100-day mourning period after the death of former country leader Kim Jong-il, anyone caught using a cell phone will be punished as a “war criminal.”

The ban is presumably to strengthen the power of new leader Kim Jong-un. It’s almost as if Jong-un wants to let his people know that he will follow in his father’s footsteps with strong, authoritative power — ergo, he’s no softy. The prohibition of cell phones also weakens the citizens’ ability to plan a departure from North Korea. Those who are caught trying to leave are often put in concentration camps as punishment.

North Korea is normally very restrictive of anything that gives its people access to the outside world. Very few people have access to the World Wide Web. Most are limited to Kwangmyong, an Intranet network with a few thousand pages of information from state departments. The country has a population of 24.5 million, yet only 1.1 million have a fixed-line telephone in their homes. About 700,000 (and growing) North Koreans use a 3G cell phone and are therefore affected by the 100-day ban.

[via Telegraph]

  • Jon Garrett

    A county that’s on the verge of collapse and its gonna be a mess when it happens.  millions of poorly educated and skill-less refugees streaming north into China which will probably reject them all and South Korea which would like to help them wont be able to help them all.

  • Sun0066

    just incredible , but I know it is totally true since I came from a country were those so restrictive  measures were taken just because the president just want it to be like that. since the goverment has all the control it is really hard to try to overcome those measures.

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