Micro radar detectors catching overseas calls

Lee Sang Yong  |  2015-09-15 16:36
Read in Korean  

According to local sources, North Korean authorities have recently begun carrying small, German manufactured radar detectors when patrolling near the Chinese border for the purpose of monitoring international phone calls made on Chinese-made cell phones. 

These intensified measures follow a proliferation of stationary detectors installed in North Hamgyong Province in conjunction with enhanced wiretapping technology, as previously reported by Daily NK. 

On September 14th, Daily NK staff spoke with a source in Yanggang Province who confirmed that recently, personnel from a number of different security organs including the prosecutors office, the Ministry of Peoples Security, and the State Security Department, have formed a gruppa, or public order teams established for specific tasks, specifically for the purpose of cracking down on overseas phone calls. This unit patrols day and night using the small radar detectors to pick up on cell phone signals calling overseas. 

An additional source in Yanggang Province confirmed these developments. 

In the past,  the majority of sensors used for enforcement were carried in bags but the new radar detectors from Germany are small enough to be carried in a pocket, the source said, noting, Before this, citizens who were wary of being caught would simply avoid any security officers toting bags. With the new devices, many people will see officers without bags and assume it is safe to make an overseas phone call--then they get caught. 

Previously, citizens knew that the radar monitors carried by officers would lose power, rendering officers unable to detect phone calls; however, the new, small radar detectors are rechargeable, making pinpointing and punishing all the easier for security agents to execute. 

Moreover, as the number of citizens watching South Korean dramas and films on their cell phones has increased, the crackdown has become more severe, according to the source. 

Members of the task force, whether they are from the SSD or the MPS, are blindly rounding up citizens and searching the stored contents of their phones. If they find any South Korean songs, videos, or other materials the authorities deem sensitive, the offender is arrested right then and there, he said. 

Despite the increase in and intensity of crackdowns, the appetite for South Korean dramas and films remains large and ever expanding, especially among university students. Because many students sell this type of media for a living, it is difficult to stamp out the problem at its roots. 

If you do a bit of digging to find out how those who are getting caught are obtaining this media, you will almost always discover a university student or son or daughter of the elite at the bottom of it. Because it is the same all the way up at Kim Il Sung University, everyone says it will not be easy to punish those responsible, the source concluded.

*The content of this article was broadcast to the North Korean people via Unification Media Group.

*Translated by Natalie Grant

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