Recently, NK Times was the first to obtain the full text of North Korea’s ‘Mobile Communications Act,’ which was revised and supplemented in March.
The Mobile Communications Act obtained this time consists of a total of 4 chapters and 44 provisions under Ordinance No. 1231 of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly on March 2, 2023, and Chapter 4, 40 of the Mobile Communications Act adopted by Ordinance No. 478 of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly on December 4, 2020. It was confirmed that four more provisions were added than Article.
Through this law, North Korea specifically stipulated the requirements to be observed in the repair and purchase of mobile communication terminals and the use of mobile communication terminals, as well as the construction, management, operation, guidance, control, and punishment of mobile communication facilities.
Chapter 1 (Articles 1 to 8) of the Mobile Communications Act obtained by this magazine contains the basics of the Mobile Communications Act, its mission, definitions of terms, principles of construction and use of mobile communications facilities, training of technical talent, and exchange and cooperation in the field of mobile communications. The contents are included, and Chapter 2 (Articles 9 to 22) covers ▲construction of mobile communication facilities ▲design preparation ▲design agreement ▲facility construction plan ▲compliance with technical regulations requirements ▲completion inspection and technical inspection ▲mobile communication facility protection zone It specifically specified the construction, management and operation of mobile communication facilities, including settings.
In relation to this, it is known that the number of mobile phone subscribers in North Korea has recently exceeded 6.5 to 7 million. This is three times the number of subscribers in 2014, which was 2.4 million.
In this situation, North Korea’s revision and supplementation of the Mobile Communications Act appears to be a measure that reflects its will to expand its communications network, and is intended to increase the mobile phone penetration rate by improving and developing mobile communications facilities, equipment, and networks even in underdeveloped regions.
Chapter 3 (Articles 24-38) provides information on ▲mobile communication service units and industries ▲issuance of business licenses ▲purchase service of mobile communication terminals ▲data communication service ▲application and management changes for domestic and international mobile communication use. It was described in detail, and in particular, Article 35, ‘Requirements to be observed when using mobile communication terminals’, did not hide the intention to completely block the leakage of internal confidential information and resident communication using mobile phones.
In fact, Article 35 (paragraphs 1 to 9) states that North Koreans cannot participate in important events and meetings with cell phones, and that cell phones should not be used in prohibited areas or buildings.
Do not speak confidential information on your mobile phone, read or watch adulterous pictures, songs, movies, entertainment, etc., send or receive notifications in a puppet tone, or e-mail, or use a mobile communication terminal. It was strictly prohibited to illegally modify and use system programs and machine numbers.
This is a measure taken in response to the increase in the number of mobile phone users in North Korea in recent years, and is interpreted as an intention to strengthen the obligations that mobile phone users must comply with and to completely block leaks of internal secrets and communication with the outside world.
In the 2020s, North Korea successively enacted laws to control the ideology of its residents, such as the ‘Law on Rejecting Reactionary Ideology and Culture’, the ‘Law on Guaranteeing Youth Culture’, and the ‘Pyongyang Cultural Language Protection Act’.
In addition, at the standing meeting of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly in March of this year, the ‘Mobile Communication Act’ was amended and supplemented to block residents’ communication channels, while the control and punishment of companies and workers participating in the mobile communication business were revised and supplemented. It was confirmed that it contains similar content.
In fact, in Chapter 4 (Articles 39 to 44), guidance on the mobile communication business is provided by central government guidance agencies under the unified guidance of the Cabinet, and the central postal guidance institution normally controls and supervises the construction, management and operation of mobile communication facilities. It was specified that it should be done.
In particular, for companies and individuals participating in the construction and operation of mobile communication facilities, the responsibility and punishment for those and workers who mismanage mobile communication facilities, such as ▲punishment and suspension of business, ▲compensation for damages, and ▲confiscation, etc., will be specified, and the responsible person who violates this law will be specified. It was confirmed that it contained almost the same level of content as the revised and supplementary version in that it imposes criminal liability in accordance with the law.
In relation to this, the source said, “After the Mobile Communications Act was revised, the construction project for mobile communication facilities in rural areas is in progress. If the construction of mobile communication facilities is completed by the end of this year as planned by the authorities (North Korea), mobile communication will now be available.” “I think it will be much better,” he said.
***This article is a translation based on ChatGPT, so it may not match our NK Times Korean content.