There is interesting news coming out of North Korea these days regarding the continued growth of its mobile telephone networks and the possible implications of that for efforts by the country's government to control the flow of information in and out of the nation. The Wall Street Journal carried an article, with the accompanying graphic (click to see a full size version), showing that there are now one million mobile phone subscribers in North Korea. Also, as noted in the article, Chinese handsets smuggled into the country continue to form an important link for communication with the outside world.
Adding interesting detail to this picture, as reported by The Korea Times, North Korea has disabled video camera and memory card functions in the newest mobile phones being distributed. In conjunction with this move, they have reportedly raised the price of mobile phones with those services to about U.S. $1,000, putting them beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. We will continue to follow these developments. Readers interested in the issue may want to look at earlier posts (for example here, and here.)