SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Korea Bizwire) – North Korean security agents dispatched overseas to watch over their compatriot laborers are secretly using South Korean-made smartphones, a Seoul-based news outlet that specializes in the communist country reported Monday.
Citing a source in China familiar with North Korean affairs, the Daily NK reported the North Korean security officials dispatched to monitor laborers are using smartphones made by Samsung and LG, despite the ban on such purchases.
Ordinary North Korean workers cannot own mobile phones.
The source said the security agents and other officials supervising the workers are able to use the phones to check the Internet more easily than ordinary North Korean workers.
According to the source, the purpose of buying the smartphones is aimed at allowing users to make proper assessments of what the outside world thinks about the Pyongyang regime and future prospects for North Korea, the media report said.
“They are screening news about North Korea no matter how small,” the source told the Daily NK.
Despite the secret nature of using South Korean phones, they are not easily censured as the senior officials and agents turn blind eyes to each other.
Earlier this year, the Daily NK reported North Korean leader Kim Jong-un instructed North Koreans using Chinese mobile phones to be punished for treason in order to fend off defections and internal information leaks to the outside world.
Agents from the North’s state security ministry are eavesdropping on mobile phone communications made in areas bordering China by mobilizing wiretapping equipment, military trucks and motor bikes, the report said.