December 2, 2004

AS THE FAX WAS TO GORBACHEV:

Cell Phones Spark 'Communication Revolution' in N.K. (Chosun Ilbo, 12/02/04)

When North Korean defector Lee received a call from his dead brother, he assumed he was being visited by a ghost, or some kind of prank caller.

In reality, the introduction of Chinese mobile communication technology to the reclusive state has helped pierce through its Iron Curtain and break down a regime that insulates itself through isolating citizens, renting families apart and curbing the spread of information.

As Lee talked to his brother for the first time in 50 years over a crackling line, he couldn't stem the flood of tears. Inter-Korean projects to reunite families may work for the 50 or 100 lucky few each year, but two mobile phones managed to connect a man in Seoul to his kin in the near-impenetrable North Korean province of North Hamgyeong in seconds.

In North Korea, mobile phones are serving as conveyer belts of information from the outside world to help combat decades of state-sponsored propaganda and misinformation, opening up a new channel of comminication between the two sides.


No experiment of the Left has ever withstood accurate information for long.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 2, 2004 10:21 AM
Comments

How soon does the jamming start?

Posted by: Bart at December 2, 2004 11:30 AM

I thought you said cell phones were antisocial.

Everything depends on context, I guess.

Along that line, I heard my first 21st century blues this morning (KEAO-LP, you can get it on the Internet and I recommend it). It began, 'I was standin' on the corner, got my cellphone in my hand'

Posted by: Harry Eagar at December 2, 2004 2:04 PM

Harry:

They are, luckily China has a crappy society.

Posted by: oj at December 2, 2004 2:09 PM

Ah, Bart, ever the pessimist. They'll try to stem the tsunami of information, of course.

They'll fail, of course.

Posted by: Tom at December 4, 2004 9:46 AM
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