Saturday, March 06, 2010

North Korea Executes Worker For Transmitting Facts on the Ground

Roger Ebert. Movie critic. Mo-ron.

That link he posts on his twitter? It's about how a North Korean was executed by firing squad for using his cell phone to document prices of food and dire conditions in North Korea and transmitted to the outside world.
A North Korean factory worker has been executed by firing squad for sneaking news out of the country on his illicit mobile phone, Seoul-based radio said today.

The armaments factory worker was accused of divulging the price of rice and other information on living conditions to a friend who had defected to South Korea years ago, Open Radio for North Korea reported.

The man, surnamed Chong, made calls to the defector using an illegal Chinese mobile phone, according to an unnamed North Korean security agency official cited by the report.

The execution took place by firing squad in late January in Hamhung, according to Open Radio for North Korea. The station broadcasts into North Korea, which tightly controls news.

South Korea's unification ministry, which handles relations with North Korea, and the national intelligence service, Seoul's main spy agency, said they could not immediately confirm the report.

Mobile phone use in North Korea is tightly restricted, although the country introduced an advanced network in partnership with Cairo-based Orascom Telecom in 2008. North Koreans who manage to make illegal overseas mobile calls mostly use networks in China.
As I've repeatedly pointed out, the North Koreans use any and all means necessary to control the population and limit information that might show the true conditions in the country as well as what is going on elsewhere in the world (particularly South Korea).

For Ebert to make light of the situation is not only insensitive, but moronic. North Korea is a totalitarian dictatorship where the people have no rights and can be consigned to the labor camps of the gulag archipelago at a moment's notice.

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