January 21, 2013 10:57
North Korea lifted a ban on foreigners taking their mobile phones into the country early this month, China's CCTV reported Saturday.
They have to fill in an application form in customs, where they previously had to deposit their phones until they left the country.
Foreigners using a phone based on the European WCDMA 3G mobile standard can even buy a SIM card from the North Korean mobile provider for 3G Internet connection. "North Korea's 3G mobile network has 1.8 million users," CCTV said.
The North started the WCDMA service in cooperation with the Egyptian mobile carrier Orascom in late 2008. Mobile phones were introduced to the North for the first time in the early 2000s.
But the regime banned ordinary people from using mobile phones after a train explosion that apparently targeted former leader Kim Jong-il in April 2004.
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