NORTH KOREA: MAN EXECUTED FOR CALLING SOUTH KOREA
March 4, 2010: a North Korean has been publicly executed for using a mobile phone to tell a defector friend in South Korea about living conditions in the communist state, a rights group said.
The man identified only as Chong was executed in late January after security officials discovered a Chinese mobile phone in his home, said the Seoul-based Open Radio for North Korea.
It said Chong, a munitions worker in the northeastern port of Hamheung, confessed under torture that he had mentioned rice prices and living conditions.
The friend defected to South Korea in 2001, said the station, which allows individuals and private groups to broadcast to North Koreans via shortwave radio.
Jung was the first person to be shot since Pyongyang tightened a crackdown on illegal mobile phones this year, it said.
The North has a legal mobile phone service, mainly for Pyongyang residents. But the use of Chinese mobile phones with pre-paid cards is banned as part of a crackdown on information from outside the country. (Sources: Agence France Presse, Ansa, 04/03/2010)