Friday, July 31, 2009

North Korea Update Cont'd: Mobile Phones

On Another Front:

The Chosun Ilbo reports that:

"About 48,000 North Koreans had by the end of June subscribed to the mobile phone service that started in the North last December, VOAreported Wednesday quoting data released by the service operator.

Orascom, the Egyptian telecom firm that runs it, plans to expand the service area from Pyongyang to the whole of North Korea by the end of this year, VOA said. The operator is poised to start HSPA service at the request of foreigners in North Korea who need to use wireless high-speed internet there, the report said.

Currently, officials of the North Korean Workers' Party or the government are reportedly banned from using mobile phones for security reasons. Ordinary North Korean residents, whose monthly pay is about 4,000 North Korean won (aroundUS$30), cannot afford the service due to the high price of handsets, which cost at US$300-500, and the subscription fee" ("Some 50,000 N. Koreans Use Mobile Phones" : Chosun Ilbo)

So, I'm confused. There can't possibly be 48,000 diplomats and Kim Jong Il possibly can't have 48,000 children, then who are using all those mobile phones? The article mentions that members of the North Korean Workers Party (조선로동당) aren't allowed to use mobile phones and it's targeted for foreigners. But, 48,000 foreigners; that'd be a lot of people. So, could it be the 48,000 people are actually members of the Korean People's Army (조선인민군)?

No comments:

Post a Comment