December 07, 2023

Almost all North Koreans now have access to cellular networks, report finds

38 North says ‘ubiquitous’ mobile phones form basis for private economy but allow government to track users’ every move

Nearly all North Koreans now live in an area with cellular network coverage, a new report shows, following years of state efforts to promote mobile devices as a means to more tightly control the population.

Two decades since the introduction of mobile telecommunications in Pyongyang and Rason, mobile phone usage has become “ubiquitous” in the isolated country and forms the basis for its private economy, according to 38 North.