N. Korea offers mobile Internet for foreigners
BEIJING - North Korea launched a mobile Internet service for foreign residents and visitors in the country from Monday, a move to help increase their level of connectivity to the outside world.
Koryolink, a North Korean-Egyptian joint venture that operates the mobile phone service in North Korea, informed foreign residents in Pyongyang that they can access the Internet from their cellphones and other mobile devices starting Monday.
North Koreans, however, are not allowed to use the service.
Subscription rates for the new service range from 150 euros to 400 euros a month, depending on the amount of data a subscriber uses.
China's official Xinhua News Agency reported a Xinhua correspondent in Pyongyang became the first foreigner in North Korea to surf the Internet from a mobile phone.
"It is fast, and webpage surfing is not restricted," Du Baiyu was quoted as saying.
North Korea, which has a population of 24 million, has more than 1.5 million mobile phones subscribers, but locals cannot make international calls nor connect to the Internet.
Similarly, locals cannot call foreign visitors and residents in North Korea -- and vice versa -- as the systems have different settings.
Fearing that an unrestricted flow of information from abroad could have a destabilizing impact, North Korean authorities strictly control the public's access to the Internet. Locals only have access to a domestic intranet.