North Korea allows foreigners in with their mobile phones
Source: The Guardian
For years, North Korea required visitors to relinquish foreign handsets at the border until their departure, leaving most tourists without a way to communicate with the outside world.
The ritual of handing them over was part of an exhaustive security check that most visitors faced at North Korean immigration. Many visitors – including Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, who travelled to North Korea earlier this month – chose to leave their phones behind in Beijing before flying to Pyongyang.
Now, foreigners can bring qualifying phones into the country and purchase a sim card for use in North Korea, or rent a handset with a sim card that allows them to call most foreign countries, foreign embassies in Pyongyang and international hotels in the North Korean capital, according to Koryolink, the country's only official 3G mobile network provider.
However, foreigners will not be able to communicate by mobile phone with local North Koreans, whose handsets operate on a separate network, and they will not have access to the internet using locally provided sim cards. They can call Japan and the US, but not South Korea.