Go to contents

North Korea’s International Calling Service Disabled

Posted May. 13, 2005 23:32,   


International calls to companies in North Korea have been disconnected since early April, trading company related officials said.

According to a company headquartered in Beijing May 13, China, while the connection is intact to a lumber processing plant in Pyongyang, international calling to other companies in North Korea was disabled. Telephone service failures were aggravated when the National Economic Cooperation Association, which was stationed until this March in China, moved back to the North.

The Asahi Shimbun reported on the same day that an international telecommunications line in a foreign trading company in downtown Pyongyang was recently dismantled. This move is regarded as a government attempt to control information.

For this reason, the only possible communication method of the company with China is fax transmission at the present time.

Russian trading companies in the North, however, said that they had no such problem.

Analysts said, “In a move to block information leaks, the regime seems to be controlling telecommunications based on the nature of organizations or companies.

Companies are the only private sector organizations allowed to install international telephones, but the number of telephones per company is restricted to one.

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com