North Korea to allow mobiles?

Although GSM-based mobile phones have been accepted in North Korea for ten years in the Rajin-Sonbong economic area, North Korea has had a totally hostile attitude towards mobile technology.

The most widely known occasion when its attitude was made clear was its reaction to the Ryongchon rail disaster. In the days following that incident the Pyongyang government confiscated 30,000 users' handsets. 

Things, according to The Korea Times, may be changing. The ban on mobiles may be lifted by spring 2006, taking the birthdays of current leader Kim Jong-Il or Kim Il-Sun as the launch date for the reintroduction.  

This time CDMA may be the chosen technology. This leads to a dilemma as on the one hand CDMA is South Korea 's national platform. On the other it is a surprising choice because of the association of CDMA with US military technology. It is presumed that US permission would thus be harder not easier to receive.


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