NKorea eases rules, lets visitors bring cellphones

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm •  Published: January 21, 2013
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The 3G network also provides North Koreans with access to the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper for a fee, but not to the global Internet.

On Friday, Koryolink saleswomen were setting up cellphone rental booths at Pyongyang's Sunan airport. One poster depicting a woman in a traditional Korean dress with a cellphone pressed to her ear read, "Here You Can Buy Koryolink Visitor Line."

During his recent four-day trip to North Korea, Schmidt urged North Korea to provide its people with better access to the global Internet. The Google executive chairman noted that it would be "very easy" for North Korea to offer Internet on the 3G cellphone network.

"As the world becomes increasingly connected, the North Korean decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world and their economic growth. It will make it harder for them to catch up economically," he wrote in a Google blog entry posted Sunday.

"It is their choice now, and in my view, it's time for them to start, or they will remain behind."

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Kim Kwang Hyon contributed to this report. Follow AP's bureau chief for Pyongyang and Seoul at twitter.com/newsjean.