North Korea Nixes 3G Data for Tourists
March 27, 2013 1:05 PM
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While it's not completely clear why North Korea is doing this, some believe it's because visitors used services like Instagram while they were there
Not even a month after launching 3G access for foreign visitors, North Korea has taken it away without any explanation.
On March 1, 2013, North Korea allowed foreign visitors to have access to uncensored 3G data while staying in the country. However, a new report from Koryo Tours -- a Beijing-based company that plans trips to North Korea -- said that this privilege has been cut for short-term tourists.
“3G access is no longer available for tourists to the DPRK," said Koryo Tours' website. "Sim cards can still be purchased to make international calls but no internet access is available.”
Citizens of North Korea are blocked from using the full Web on mobile devices, but are allowed to see the state-run newspaper
While it's not completely clear why North Korea is doing this, some believe it's because visitors used services like Instagram while they were there. Considering how secretive the country is, having pictures posted for all to see likely didn't jive with it.
Earlier this month, North Korea's foreign minister
threatened to nuke the U.S.
amid tensions between the countries.
"Since the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exercising our right to preemptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor in order to protect our supreme interest."
China is growing tired of North Korea's behavior
, and finally imposed harsh sanctions on the country. Under the new sanctions, China and others who trade with North Korea can no longer define what a luxury item is -- meaning that many items such as yachts, luxury automobiles, and certain jewelry are now banned.
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ok, do they check everyone's devices?
3/27/2013 4:31:51 PM
So they take away mobile internet access. I can understand why (from the NK government viewpoint - not that I condone it) if there were citizens who were getting illicit internet access. But how does this change anything for foreigners if they can just take pictures or video anyway? That explanation doesn't make much sense to me unless they screen every single device coming out of the country...but microSD cards are really easy to hide. I have to think it's to prevent citizens from getting illicit internet access.
RE: ok, do they check everyone's devices?
3/27/2013 4:57:23 PM
Was just thinking the same thing. Either NK is really technology illiterate and naive or there must be another reason. Would be quite easy to just switch out and hide a microSD card even if they are checking everyone before they leave.
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