Lost S.Korean Smartphones 'End Up in N.Korea'

Some smartphones lost or stolen in South Korea are reportedly being smuggled into North Korea via China.

A source on Friday said someone who lost his smartphone in Seoul tracked down the location on Google and found it in Pyongyang.

North Korean authorities intentionally collect South Korean electronic gadgets to disassemble and copy, the source claimed.

"Many of the smartphones lost in the South are being used in the North clandestinely, but some are used for research purposes,” he added.

North Korea is reportedly developing its own smartphones by copying South Korean and Chinese products. The source said, "Smartphones lost in the South are sent to China, where only the SIM cards are changed, and then smuggled into the North. There is growing demand for South Korean goods there, and people prefer high-performing South Korean smartphones."

The instant messaging app KakaoTalk is useful in a country where access to the Internet is heavily restricted and international calls are difficult.

The instant messaging app KakaoTalk is useful in a country where access to the Internet is heavily restricted and international calls are difficult. North Korean authorities are reportedly accusing anyone caught with the app on their phone of being a spy.

North Korean police inspect mobile phones of people living in towns along the border with China to check if they have a KakaoTalk app on their phones, according to Radio Free Asia.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 05, 2014 08:22 KST

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