back to article NORKS switch off 3G data for tourists

Portly peoples' hero dictator Kim Jong-un has put the brakes on North Korea’s efforts to haul itself into the 21st century after appearing to ban mobile internet services for tourists less than a month after a historic decision was taken to relax 3G data restrictions. The news came in the form of a brief update posted by …


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  1. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge
    Big Brother

    data rates

    €150 for 2GB sounds quite reasonable compared to what roaming charges can be. For example, travel to another secretive third-world state, such as the USA, on O2 it costs £6 a MB (£6000 per GB!). On the subject of roaming, call me thick, but how can something that costs £10 here (an extra GB of data) cost 600 times as much abroad. I know they have to make some money, but that is just ridiculous! Oh wait, they do a deal where you pay £120 a month for 200Mb of data. That's only £600 a GB. Bargain!

    1. Anonymous Coward 15

      Re: data rates

      First world = aligned with the USA

      Second world = aligned with the USSR

      Third world = neither

  2. g e

    The most amazing thing about this....

    North Korea has TOURISTS?

    Do they ever get back out?

    1. Bumpy Cat

      Re: The most amazing thing about this....

      The Vice Guide to North Korea - two guys from Vice secretly filmed their tour of North Korea.

      Part 1:

      Two things that stick with me from the series - "there is nothing normal at all in this country", and the tea girl at the end of part 1. It breaks my heart when she waves goodbye - she sits alone in this tourist cafe, next to an empty road, and literally does not see any customers for months at a time.

      1. David Cantrell

        Re: The most amazing thing about this....

        No customers for months? Back in 1999 in the dot-com boom that described an awful lot of people who were very happy in their not-jobs!

      2. ravenviz Silver badge

        Re: The most amazing thing about this....

        Re: tea girl, the look on her face when he said he didn't want coffee.

        There does seem to be some sort of innocence portrayed when North Korean are filmed, I'm not sure what to make of it, it's a sort of unworldliness; we know about opportunity and aspiration, they are prevented from ever knowing what that is. But then we also know about all sorts of other bad stuff, but at least we have a choice to live our lives how we want to (or so we're told).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The most amazing thing about this....

      It does, and so does Chernobyl/Pripyat.

      1. Amorous Cowherder

        Re: The most amazing thing about this....

        "It does, and so does Chernobyl/Pripyat."

        My mate went, took a load of pictures and video, came home and set the lot to a Joy Division track which darkened an already depressing set of images!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The most amazing thing about this....

          Must be interesting getting travel insurance for a trip like that.

          "And where are you travelling to Sir?"

          "North Korea." / "Chernobyl."


    3. Alfred

      Re: The most amazing thing about this....

      I went last April during the 100th anniversary of the birth of the original Great Leader. Saw a proper old-school military parade (hundred of tanks etc just rolling by... and by.. and by... and by). Sat at the tables in those blue huts in the JSA. Bowed to the big giant statues. Toured the USS Pueblo in Pyongyang (still a commissioned US warship). Wandered around two huge under-mountain nuclear bunkers filled with the world's gifts to the DPRK leadership, including a stuffed upright alligator on wheels holding a drinks tray from David Koresh of Waco fame. Ate some dog. Toured the Fatherland Liberation War museum and got the DPRK version of the history of the Korean war. Ate in restaurants where we were clearly the first people for quite some time to visit. Rode the Soviet-style underground for a couple of stops. On and on. Everything, but everything, is mental.

      It's one of the most mind-blowing holidays possible and I recommend it to everyone who has ever suspected they could do better than a week lying on a beach. Don't forget that it's a true grotesque and the continued existence of the system there is a stain upon humanity's soul, but as experiences go it's well worth having.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The most amazing thing about this....

      I was shocked about that as well plus the fact they had a 3G network. I guess if you were a tourist and you wanted 3G data service, it wouldn't be that hard. Maybe pull a twenty out of your pocket and buy a house.

      Is a tourist a westerner that is being detained by NK?


    Least I Could Do won't be happy.

  4. Bill Neal

    Just for one celeb

    He just set up the network for Dennis Rodman's visit. Afterward Kim was quoted saying, "Wait, you mean that wasn't president Obama?" (quoted from a completely unreliable source)

  5. Patrick 17
    Thumb Up

    Story is wrong

    At least according to Uri Tours's blog today:

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