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North Korea loosens restrictions on foreign cellphones

North Korea is loosening its restrictions on foreign cellphones and is allowing visitors to bring their own phones into the country.

PYONGYANG- Officials from cellphone service provider Koryolink declared last week that visitors to one of the world’s most autarcic countries can from now rent phones or SIM cards at the airport to use in their own foreign phones. The SIM cards allow foreigners to make calls abroad, contact foreign embassies in Pyongyang, and ring international hotels.

However, local SIM cards do not allow foreign travellers to call local North Koreans. It also does not provide Internet access.

The policy reverses a longstanding rule requiring visitors to relinquish their foreign phones at the border. Consequently, North Korean telecom company Koryolink set up a rental booth at Pyongyang International airport. Koryolink is a division of CHEO Technology, a joint venture between the Egyptian firm Orascom and the North Korean government.
(Source: AP)

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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.