August 23, 2013 by newfocusintl
The North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) recently unveiled the “Arirang” smartphone. Western media reports followed up by arguing how this new technology could not have been manufactured by North Korean efforts alone.
In fact, Chinese mobile phones have been used by North Koreans for at least fifteen years. Before that time, in order to smuggle goods across the border from China, North Koreans would meet with their Chinese counterparts at the river bank and shout across the water.
“It was very relaxed, we would agree on how such and such an item would be brought at a certain time on a certain day. That was it. The border guards weren’t really concerned back then. If a patrol appeared while we were talking to the Chinese, we’d move a little ways apart. When the guards left, we’d reconvene to finish scheduling our next meeting, ” explained Hyesan native Jung, who left North Korea in 2011.
When the “Arduous March” began in the mid-90s and North Korea suffered from famine and a collapse of the state distribution system, those near the border started smuggling more extensively. At the same time, border security tightened considerably.
“Even lingering near the river bank would draw the border guards’ attention. In order to continue smuggling goods across the border, it became compulsory to own a mobile phone. This way, you could communicate from a hidden place without making yourself conspicuous.”
“At the time, the flip phone was very popular in China. Chinese traders would bribe guards with cigarettes or a box of food, in order to deliver Chinese mobile phones into North Korea. The Chinese have led the way, ” Jung continued.
“They would write out instructions for how to use the mobile phone on a piece of paper and sent it along with the device. Though the phone probably had other functions, as long as we could make a call and receive a call, that was all we needed to know. The things that the Chinese traders would demand in return were metal products such as gold and silver, or medicinal herbs.”
Credibility is an important asset when it comes to smuggling, and there may be times when the numbers don’t add up in a transaction. Such matters too are often ironed about by means of a phone call. In addition, On Lunar New Year’s Day or birthdays, some Chinese traders make a call to their North Korean counterparts to let them know they are sending oil or fruit – free of charge.
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Gutmann was basing his arguments on those made in his book titled "Losing the New China - A Story of American Commerce, Desire and Betrayal," which discusses in detail how American businesses played a role in restricting freedom of thought in China, in turn betraying the American values of liberty, democracy, and human rights
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William Bush is a director of Engineered Support Systems Inc., a supplier of high-tech military goods to -- well, to the highest bidder. Just last year (2002) they sold $13 million worth of advanced radar gear to upgrade communist China's fleet of fighter jets -- you know, the kind that force down U.S. spy planes with such aplomb. This is just par for the family course, however; William's brother, Prescott Jr., is head of the America-China Chamber of Commerce, while Pretzel's brother Neil is in bed with the son of former communist chieftain Jiang Zemin.
But helping arm a dictatorial regime that tyrannizes its own people, invades its neighbors and actually possesses large stockpiles of WMD is just a sideline for Uncle Bill
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