North Korea has imported cellular phone listening devices from Russia and distributed them to teams operating along its northern border, according to information received by The Daily NK today. A number of people caught by agents wielding the new devices are already under interrogation by the National Security Agency.
According to a North Hamkyung Province source who spoke with The Daily NK yesterday, “In mid-September, a provincial NSA team deployed Russian cellular listening devices sent by the national NSA. Seven people caught by the new devices calling South Korea are under investigation at the team’s interrogation office now.”
“The people who have been arrested were either caught in the act of calling South Korea or, unaware of the listening devices, their names were revealed during the call and they were traced later,” the source went on, adding, “I hear that if they are adjudged to be engaged in political issues during the investigation process then they are detained by the NSA and interrogated more thoroughly.”
Sources suggest that the introduction of the listening devices was done on the instruction of Kim Jong Eun at the end of August, and that they were brought in by Maebong General Trading Co. which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces. They have been distributed to teams operating in all the border provinces (North Hamkyung, Yangkang, Jagang and North Pyongan), although only two have been provided per province.
Compared to the previously employed equipment, Chinese and German electromagnetic radiation sensors which had trouble picking up and distinguishing signal sources, tending to focus on the stronger signal emitted by base stations, the new equipment represents a significant step up, and is already said to be engendering great unease in the people of the region.