North Korea issues 100 day ban on mobile phones

Mobile & tablets

by Tineka Smith| 26 January 2012

North Korean citizens are banned from using their mobile phones for 100 days set aside for mourning the death of Kim Jong-Il. Those who disobey the ban will be branded war criminals.

In a report by The Telegraph the ruling political party in North Korea has cautioned that those caught using a mobile phone during the 100 day period of mourning for Kim Jong-il's death will be punished and labelled "war criminal."

sim card

The strict stipulation arrives as North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un who took power after his father Kim Jong-il, works to build his power and reputation. Kim Jong-Il died 17 December 2011 of a heart attack.

Many North Koreans are fleeing to South Korea to escape political oppression and poverty in North Korea as food supplies are said to be running low.

As the internet is only accessible by a select group of people North Koreans could find it tough communication wise to be without mobile phones, a main method of communicating in the country.

The number of North Koreans affected by the ban is by no means small as nearly 700,000 people use the country's 3G network with phone usage growing. The country has had a 3G network since 2008 with 125,661 subscribers in May 2010 according to international telecommunications company, Orascom.

The ban comes after the Korea Communications Commission in South Korea raised a cyber alert in December 2011 with the death of Kim Jong-Il. South Korea suffered several attacks in 2011 including one on a major local bank that was allegedly put into action by North Korea.


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