North Korean Cell Phone Users Declared “War Criminals”

Posted by on Jan 27, 2012 at 8:01 am
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Imagine what they’ll do to you if you’re caught texting while driving. On the upside, it’s not as if anyone can afford a phone to begin with.

North Korea has warned that any of its citizens caught trying to defect to China or using mobile phones during the 100-day mourning period for Kim Jong-il will be branded as “war criminals” and punished accordingly.

There are reports from within the isolated state that food supplies are again dwindling and that there has been an increase in the number of people attempting to cross the border into China. Many of those that do manage to cross the frontier eventually manage to reach South Korea, where an estimated 23,000 defectors have now settled.

The Workers’ Party has issued the stern warning in an effort to deter more from attempting the already perilous journey, apparently in an effort to ensure the stability of the new regime of Kim Jong-un, who took over from his father, according to Good Friends, a South Korean relief group.

People who are caught attempting to flee the poverty and political oppression in the North, as well as those detained in China and sent back over the border, usually end up in the North’s network of hard labour camps, human rights groups have reported, while repeat offenders can expect to be executed.

2 Responses to “North Korean Cell Phone Users Declared “War Criminals””

  1. steveegg on 27/27/12 at 8:14 am

    Imagine what they’ll do to you if you’re caught texting while driving. On the upside, it’s not as if anyone can afford a phone to begin with.

    The elites can afford cell phones. According to Egyptian partner Orascom Telecom (which partners with the North Koreans to provide cell service to 14% of the land mass), there were about 800,000 users. Presumably most of them were in the capital city of Pyongyang.

    Of course, at last count, there were only about 25,000 passenger vehicles in the city, and anybody who can text and ride a bike is truly gifted.