North Korea plans nationwide mobile phone OS update by December

FILE PHOTO: A North Korean businessman using a cellphone at a local market. (NK daily)

North Korea plans to carry out a nationwide update to its mobile phone operating system at the end of the year, Daily NK has learned.

North Korea is promoting the update, saying it will improve cellphone performance, but a source in the country told Daily NK that the real goal is to prevent the spread of “anti-socialist and non-socialists.

A source from Daily NK in North Korea said on Wednesday that authorities plan to update the operating system in December.

“This is to achieve the direction of this year’s general plan for security-related activities and the decisions of the February review of activities aimed at countering anti-socialist and non-socialist phenomena,” he said. he declares.

Based on his account, authorities claim that if people update their phones to the new state-developed operating system, their phones will experience improved speed and performance.

“However, the authorities have not explained exactly how this will happen, he added.

Basically, the authorities are encouraging people to actively participate in the nationwide update, pointing out how updating their phone’s OS will improve performance.

North Korea is particularly keen to get users of older phone models to update their systems.

“Phones released three to five years ago should upgrade to the new OS or have their apps inspected,” the source said.

The latest phone models have already fixed vulnerabilities in the existing operating system or apply stricter security policies.

As a result, many North Koreans using older phones avoid updating them, or even use circumvention programs to enjoy content from the outside world deemed illegal by authorities.

That’s why many North Koreans aren’t particularly happy with the update order.

“People can’t put down their cellphones because life is too complicated without them,” the source said. “People find it annoying and frustrating that the state scrutinizes their phones so closely.

“Some people even say that if this is socialism, it would be better to go back to feudalism,” he continued, adding: “Most people, however, are in a damn-if-you-do, damn-if-you- no situation.

Many North Koreans are also unhappy about having to pay to update their phone’s operating system, although authorities have yet to decide on a price for the December update.

The source said that since the update has not started yet, the authorities have not yet issued any instructions regarding the price.

The source also said that North Korea is drawing up plans to deploy law enforcement and security personnel to busy streets outside train stations and other similar areas to carry out random inspections of cellphones. people.

Authorities plan to confiscate phones that have not been updated to the latest operating system with some kind of grace period.

Daily NK reported in July North Korea has ordered all registered cellphone users and computer owners to update certain programs by the end of August. North Korean authorities plan to use the update to check whether users have installed illegally developed and distributed security bypass programs on their phones.

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