first_imgNewsEconomy AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] News Crackdown targets messaging app users SHARE Facebook Twitter News US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again center_img North Korean users of foreign messenger applications such asKakao Talk, Line, and WeChat will be arrested on the spot on suspicion ofespionage, according to a new order handed down from the authorities. Sources inside the country interpret the move as Kim Jong Un’s aggressive reaction to the capability of Chinesecellphones to facilitate the import and export of information into the isolatedcountry. As recently reported by Daily NK, the North Koreanauthorities have ramped up efforts to label Chinese cellphone users as traitorsand pursuing strict punishments against them. To this end, North Korean authorities doubled down on the use ofsignal detectors to trace illicit international calls and zero in on thelocation of foreign phone users. However, the messenger apps allow users to circumventdetection by this equipment, prompting the regime to respond with newthreats specifically targeting users of these communication applications.“A measure has been enacted that orders the immediate arrestof ‘traitorous’ residents who use foreign messenger applications. The regimefurther threatened that those caught will not be offered clemency under anycondition,” a source in Ryanggang Province told Daily NK on June 2.“Offenders who are apprehended will be processed accordingto the discretion of the arresting agency– i.e. the State Security Department orthe Ministry of People’s Security. Those taken in will be charged withespionage associating with the enemy and dispatched to a political prisoncamp.”   According to the source, the regime first began showinginterest in foreign messenger apps in May 2014. At the time, residents whocontinuously used Chinese cellphones were arrested, and through the course ofthe investigation process, the authorities discovered that information wasbeing sent back and forth through apps such as the South Korean texting serviceKakao Talk.“At that time, the authorities decided to define suchactivity as espionage and handed down an order to strictly punish offenders,”he said.The crackdown on messenger services therefore strengthenedfrom that moment on. The South Korean service Line and the Chinese serviceWeChat also became targets of surveillance at that point.“These days, Line and Kakao Talk are explicitly mentioned inlectures [routinely delivered to residents by the authorities]. That’s howserious the crackdown has become,” a separate source in Ryanggang Province said.This, he went on to say, is unprecedented–hitherto, therehad been no mention of foreign cell phone applications at official lectures. Such a proactive measure reveals Kim Jong Un’s acute awareness of the adverse effects foreign information and defections pose to the stabilityof the regime, further highlighted by his blustery accusation that South Koreakidnapped 13 North Korean restaurant workers who recently escaped their posts inChina and fled to seek asylum in the South. North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) By Daily NK – 2016.06.07 12:45am RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaderslast_img read more