North Korean leader spotted with smartphone

Tokyo, Feb 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The leader of North Korea, where mobile phones were only introduced in 2008, was spotted with a smartphone, South Korea's Joong-Ang Ilbo daily reported.

A picture released last week by North Korea's state media showed Kim Jong-un at a meeting with top national security advisers. A smartphone of an unidentified brand was next to his right hand.

Citing the South Korean Ministry of Unification, which deals particularly with North Korea-related issues, Joong-Ang Ilbo said that "Kim Jong-un appears to be using a smartphone made by the HTC Corp. of Taiwan, rather than by Apple, Inc. of the US or Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea".

Some 1.8 million residents of North Korea use mobile phones, but only for domestic calls and text messages, while calls to foreign numbers are not available. Internet access is also restricted: only three of the country's main universities are allowed a brush with the world wide web.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

rd/dg

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