[imText1]Several inside sources reported that a National Security Agency inspection group consisting of 40 agents was dispatched to Shinuiju on October 1st to keep control over the usage of cell-phones.
Mr. Kim, who resides in Shinuiju said that “An inspection group from Pyongyang is censoring the usage of cell-phones among citizens, staying in the office of the Province-Security Agency. They are tracing the frequency broadband of Chinese mobile communication to find users.
“At the beginning of last week, the agents unexpectedly entered several houses around 11p.m. in Bonbu-dong in order to arrest suspected cell-phone users. It looked like a spy roundup project. Although it failed to catch users, the citizens’ fear of the inspection group was quite enormous.”
He relayed that “If they find the numbers of the South Korean country code recorded in the confiscated cell-phones, the owners of the cell-phones will be severely punished.”
In 2003, North Korea planned to construct a mobile communication system on a nationwide scale, but it ceased abruptly for fear of damages to national security in 2004. China-North Korea traders and residents in the border areas have been using the Chinese mobile communication system for their businesses, but the control of the mobile usage has been strengthening since 2006.
Another source informed us that “the device that the Security Agency uses for detection is produced by ‘Rohdesch,’ a German company. No one can use cell-phones because the device can reportedly pick up the signals easily when the agents, allegedly carrying the device in their pockets, approach areas where people are using cell-phones.
The company mentioned by Mr. Lee is Rohde & Schwarz, a German company which produces broadcasting devices, radio communication systems and other precision gauges and devices.
An affiliate of the wireless radio wave detection department under the Ministry of Information and Communication said in a phone conversation with DailyNK that “it is difficult to find radio waves from a cell-phone if you are not adjacent to the cell-phone user. I presume that NSC may ransack only the limited area where the Chinese mobile communication’s signal can reach, that is, within a few kilometers of the border, to search for cell-phone users.”
An affiliate in charge of the Networking Device of SK Telecom explained that “the mobile phone detection device can catch phone signals when the phone is on and in use, just within a 2km radius. But even then, it is difficult to find the exact location of the user.”
The rumor seems not true that the National Security agents are searching for cell-phone users by carrying the detection device in their pockets.
Our source, Mr. Lee, said that “along the border areas, the only group of people who can use mobile phones legally are Chinese merchants. However, the authorities have asked them not to use the cell-phones, or if they must, use them only with the permission of the NSC.”
He added that “If someone is caught, the degree of punishment depends on to where he or she attempted to call. If they called someone in China, a $300 fine would be sufficient; but if the call was made to South Korea, they may be sent to long term reeducation camps following heavy interrogation from the NSC.
He said, “What did the South Korean President come here for? The Chosun (North Korea) regime’s attitude has never changed.”