back to article N Korea mobile phone subscribers top 1 million

Axis of evil North Korea now has a whopping one million mobile phone users some four years after the technology was first introduced in the repressive state. Egyptian telco Orascom Telecom, which helped to launch a 3G service in the Democratic People’s Republic in 2008, reportedly revealed the figures in a regulatory filing. …


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  1. mike 32

    Shirley the byline should be...

    "No need to be ronery in hardrine communist state"

  2. Blofeld's Cat


    Meaning: A new text message has arrived.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. GitMeMyShootinIrons
    Thumb Down

    That'll be a million users made up of senior Party members, security services and prostitutes serving the aforementioned.

    Given that your average rural NorK is eating his neighbour's dog/wiring/rat infestation to stay alive, I'm sure he'll find it comforting to know that his "Comrades" who run the country can get a decent 3G signal.

    1. despicable me

      "I don't know much about Korean cuisine, but their spicy meatballs are the dog's bollocks."

      - Jasper Carrot

      1. Bumpy Cat

        Out driving in the Korean countryside:

        Me (not Korean): "That shop has a sign with a picture of a dog. Is it a pet shop?"

        Wife (Korean): " ... No."

    2. Heathroi
      Big Brother

      They have wiring?!?!??!? the bourgeois capitalist roader buggers!!!!

  5. DrXym

    1 million subscribers

    To a service which is blocked for 100 days. I would not be surprised if Orascom starts whining and then NK will use it as an excuse to nationalise the entire service just like they've done with so many other ventures when they go awry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And I, for one

      would welcome our mobile-phone-banning overlords.

  6. dotdavid

    Lies and damned statistics?

    This 1 million figure is from a government that claims that when their last leader was born a new star appeared in the sky, right?

    1. despicable me

      I understand they had trouble finding three wise men that would follow the party line.

      Plenty of sheep though.

    2. Anonymous Coward 15

      Wouldn't happen to be Halley's Comet or something like that would it?

  7. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    My friend will be sad.

    A friend of mine went on holiday to North Korea about 10 years ago. He was very pleased to be holidaying in one of the only places where no-one could get hold of him on his mobile. Now that's spoiled. Although I suppose he's got 100 days to get back there, and take advantage of the dead-dear-leader-no-phone-special...

    Not that he could get a visa in time. Sadly for the North Korean tourist industry, they struggled to sell themselves as a fun, holiday destination. This not helped by the fact that of the 30 people in his tour group, only 16 were granted visas. His method was not to mention his British passport, and use his Canadian one. When they got there, they were the only guests in a 1,000 room tourist hotel.

    1. Peter Simpson 1

      they struggled to sell themselves as a fun, holiday destination

      I can understand that. "fun holiday destination" and "North Korea" are two phrases not often seen in close association.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        fun and frolics in North Korea

        Robert Heinlein wrote a fun essay on a holiday to the Soviet Union in the 70s. I suspect that North Korea is probably quite similar to the old days of Intourist.

        Heinlein said his favourite game was trying to avoid seeing the sports stadium, in whatever place they went to. That's a nice 'safe' thing for the guides to take you to see. No awkward questions that might get them into trouble with the secret police. And no ordinary people around to show up how poor the system really is, or get 'contaminated' by contact with foreigners. He said he only managed NOT to see a stadium on one day of his trip...

        I saw a documentary called 'Holidays in the Axis of Evil', a few years back. Chap went to Iran, Syria and North Korea. Don't know how he got the visa for Norkland. I'm guessing he went as a tourist, I bet he didn't admit to the name of his film. Felt a bit sorry for his guide, as he started asking her some very awkward questions on camera - that might have got her into trouble.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What the FUCK El Reg? When did you hire Jim Davidson to write your straplines?

    Would you illustrate a story about China by pulling up the corners of your eyes with your fingers and running around shouting "Me so solly"? Can we expect stories about Indian telecomms to carry a "bud bud ding" strapline? Or stories about African IT companies to carry a picture of a comedy black man with a bone through his nose?

    I thought this kind of casual, sub-Benny-Hill racism was already dated when I was a child in the 70s. What the hell were you thinking when you let this offensive stereotype through?

    Cancel my subscription, Seriously not amused, Consider your wrists slapped, Angry of Tunbridge Wells, etc., etc, etc. Please think twice before doing anything like this again. And then just don't.

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