North Korea installs sinister new spy equipment to monitor citizens private conversations

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The wiretapping equipment is focusing on residents living around the Chinese-North Korean border. Illegal political activity, such as criticism of the government, and border crossings are being monitored, as well as smuggling and foreign currency transactions.

International phone calls are illegal in North Korea but many citizens smuggle in phones from China and use them near the border where they can take advantage of Chinese mobile networks.

Calls are typically made through WeChat, an application similar to WhatsApp which is used throughout China.

Technology previously used by North Korea was also able to bug communications through traditional calls and text messages.

However, Kim Jong-un’s latest surveillance move, believed to have been imported through China around September 20, is more sophisticated and can access downloaded applications including WeChat.

A source told the Daily NK: “The crackdown on Chinese mobile phones has grown worse.

“They are even ferreting out text messages or phone calls made through WeChat.

The source claimed rumours in the area suggest the punishment for using a Chinese mobile phone will be severe.

They added: “Before, people who were friendly with cadres from the Ministry of State Security could avoid crackdowns by paying bribes, but now with the new equipment, they may face harsher punishments to be made examples of.

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“Everyone is avoiding calling China.”

North Korea has also pressured smugglers and brokers in the region close to China to hand in foreign devices.

A source said North Korea’s Ministry of State Security officials in the border area are “telling residents with foreign-made mobile phones to quickly turn them in”.

They hope to destroy all foreign phones by the New Year.

Security officials are said to have been telling smugglers they will be forgiven for past crimes if they hand the phones in.

Sources add if they do not, they “should be prepared to die”.


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