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N. Korean Executed for Calling S. Korea on Cell Phone: Report

SEOUL (Yonhap) – A North Korean resident was publicly executed for talking to a North Korean defector living in South Korea via a Chinese cell phone, the Seoul-based Open Radio for North Korea (ORNK) reported on March 4.

The resident, identified only as Jung, was reportedly a munitions factory worker in the northeastern city of Hamhung. He was executedin late January after a Chinese cell phone was found in his home, the ORNK said, citing a source in North Korea.

Jung was accused of talking to the defector about current living conditions in the North, such as market prices for rice, the ORNK reported. The station allows individuals, student groups and private organizations to broadcast messages to North Korean people via shortwave radio.

It noted that the North Korean authorities have recently toughened their crackdown on residents attempting to contact North Korean defectors in South Korea through Chinese cell phones. North Korea’s only mobile operator, CHEO Technology, which offers services under the Koryolink brand, has signed up 69,261 customers as at 30 September 2009.

Koryolink continues to expand customer base

The company was awarded a 25-year licence to operate 3G services in January 2008, with the first four years on an exclusive basis. It is owned by Orascom Telecom Holding of Egypt (75%) and state-owned Korea Post and Telecoms Corporation (25%). Koryolink launched services in December 2008 in the capital Pyongyang, but the network has since been expanded to include the main road running up to the northern city of Hyangsan, with the company currently working on expanding services nationwide.

In the first nine months of 2009, the cellco reported revenue of USD18.5 million, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) reached USD9.99 million with a margin of 54%. Average revenue per user (ARPU) for the third quarter of 2009 totalled USD21.6, down from USD22.8 in the previous quarter. With a focus on network rollout and network quality improvement, Koryolink invested USD25 million in the first nine months of 2009. See more in NK Economy Watch…

Мобильная связь, доступная иностранцам, появилась в стране еще несколько лет назад. Подключение тогда стоило чуть ли не 1000$. Впоследствии цена на подключение дешевела.Эта сеть, имеющая названия SUN NET (2G), была открыта при содействии Китая. После того, как в январе 2009 года в стране появилась 3G сеть Koryo Link, открытая при содействии Египта, цены на покупку SIM-карты SUN NET резко подешевели, составив 30 Евро. Качество связи, к сожалению, за многие годы так и не улучшилось, и чтобы куда-то звонить, приходилось подходить к окну или на улицу, а сама связь часто обрывалась. Сеть до сих пор используется только иностранцами, с телефона, подключенного к SUN NET можно звонить на международные номера и мобильные телефоны SUN NET и  Koryolink (иностранные). Абонентсткая плата отсутствует, цена звонков на местные номера 0,30 евро за исходящий (минута).
Как я уже сказал, с 2009 года началось использование новой 3G сети Koryo Link. Т.к. технология 3G требует специальных телефонов, то была завезена большая партия телефонов фирмы Huawei из Китая, которые затем были перепрошиты для использования жителями КНДР.
Подключение без телефона стоило 100 Евро, самый дешевый телефон обходился в 110 Евро. Для обеспечения безопасности номера корейские и иностранные отличались, и с них нельзя было позвонить друг другу.
Телефоны сети SUN NET имеют номера +850 193 801 **** (только иностранный канал)
Телефоны сети Koryo Link имеют номера +850 191 250 ****,  а корейский канал – +850 191 260 ****
Уже спустя месяц количество корейцев с телефонами стало возрастать, и сейчас мобильник уже вошел в повседневную жизнь корейцев
В настоящий момент в сети Koryo Link пока что недостает поддержки GPRS, MMS, и видеосвязи (основная “фишка” системы 3G), зато имеется 3 вида тарифов, с абонетской платой 5, 10 и 15 евро. Разница лишь в цене на местные звонки.
Качество связи заметно лучше, чем SUN NET, а зона обхвата включает несколько больших городов КНДР. В настоящее время внедряются новые модели телефонов, становится дешевле подключение, появляются скидки на звонки

Источники http://ashen-rus.livejournal.com/643.html#cutid1 и http://juche-songun.livejournal.com/138259.html (in Russian)

Fast food in North Korea

[Photos by courtesy of KoreakonsultNK Economy Watch]

Times Online

Photo gallery by Paul Rogers

Markets in North Korea

A snack kiosk and bicycle repairing station in Ryonggang county near Nampo

A snack kiosk and bicycle repairing station in Ryonggang county near Nampo (2007)

Subway kiosk in Pyongyang

A snack kiosk in Pyongyang subway (2007)

Subway kiosk in Pyongyang

A snack kiosk in Pyongyang subway (2007)

Subway icecream kiosk in Pyongyang

Ice cream kiosk in Pyongyang subway (2007)

pyongyang_subway_icecream

Ice cream kiosk in Pyongyang subway (2007)

Tongil Farmers market in Pyongyang

Entrance of the Tongil farmers market in Pyongyang (2007)

T\'ongil Farmers\' market in Pyongyang

Inside the Tongil farmers market in Pyongyang (2005)

T\'ongil Farmers\' market in Pyongyang

Foreign and local cars at the entrance of the Tongil farmers market in Pyongyang

Food stalls in Changgwan Street

 

Fast food shop sign in Changgwang Street, Pyongyang

Food stalls in Changgwan Street

Food stalls in Changgwan Street in Pyongyang (2007)

Food stalls in Changgwan Street

Food stall in Changgwang Steet, Pyongyang (2007)

Pricelist - Foodstall in Changgwang Street

Given the multiple exchange rates system in North Korea the above prices can be deemed as modest or extremely expensive (depending on the exchange method):
– NK official exchange $1 USD = 156 KNWon (for visiting foreigners and official transactions)
– NK black market exchange rate: $1 USD = 3,000 KNWon (for the locals and foreign residents)
Average monthly salary varies from 5,000 ~ 50,000 NKWon (2007)

Cigarets pricelist

Cigarettes price list (2005)

Sign posted on the door of a restaurant closed after the unexpected currency revaluation reform of November 2009.


Cooking Oysters on Petrol in North Korea …

Making BBQ on car petrol might sound like a crazy idea: it’s dangerous and not healthy. But in North Korea, where firewood is a luxury, this method is the most popular way to have a picnic. All you have to do is to forget about the bitter lead aftertaste in your mouth and enjoy the atmosphere of friendship and hospitality…

LP

Kernbeisser’s photostream

“Definitely by far the best pictures of North Korea! (Especially of outside Pyongyang). These pictures should be published; an exceptional photobook could be produced; better than any of the recently published ones on North Korea.”

North Korea group on FLIKR

North Korea Images on FLIKR

3 responses

18 04 2008
28 03 2014
Week Six – Realities of Life Without I.T. | Sam Bennett RES701

[…] on North Korean cellphones. In fact news from within the country suggests that a man was recently publicly executed for attempting to make a phone call to a North Korean defector living in South […]

28 03 2014
Week 6 – Realities of Life Without I.T. | Sam Bennett RES701

[…] on North Korean cellphones. In fact news from within the country suggests that a man was recently publicly executed for attempting to make a phone call to a North Korean defector living in South […]




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