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N. Korea Cracking Down on Cell Phone Use

Posted February. 11, 2010 09:07,   


North Korea is cracking down on mobile phone use and leaks of information abroad, said a Seoul-based radio station run by former North Korean defectors yesterday.

Free North Korea Radio said the North’s National Security Agency and State Security Department are investigating information leaks about North Korea’s internal situation.

Pyongyang said Monday that the attempt to overthrow the government has exceeded a dangerous level and issued a warning.

The report quoted a source in North Korea located in Onsong County, North Hamkyong Province, as saying a secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party made workers confess whether they had mobile phones or improperly recorded videos Monday.

The workers were ordered to “give their mobile phones to security agencies or throw them over the walls of security centers or the State Security Department within two days.”

“If you follow the order, you are generously forgiven, but if you’re caught using a cell phone, you are considered a traitor and severely punished,” the source said.

The report also said security authorities launched in Onsong a joint inspection and surprise searches of the homes of the families of North Korean defectors on the blacklist.

Security officers were ordered to immediately track down and report any suspicious moves by defectors’ families.

Another source in the northeastern city of Chongjin, North Hamkyong Province, said, “Two ethnic Chinese men from abroad in their early 40s were executed on suspicion of leaking internal information on North Korea nearby Sunam Market in Chongjin at 10 a.m. Tuesday.”

The head of the radio station, Kim Seong-min, said yesterday, “Ethnic Chinese from overseas are not treated unfairly in North Korea, but I was able to get the news (of the executions) from other sources.”

Kim Heung-gwang, a former North Korean computer scientist who heads the Seoul-based civic group North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity, said, “North Korea has read its Rodong Sinmun (Labor Newspaper) containing a joint statement to its people. It plans to deliver a lecture on the joint statement across the nation Saturday.”