Ever The Opposite Of The South, North Korea Bans Mobile Phones

from the life-under-repressive-regimes dept

Lots of folks know that South Korea was one of the first out the door with 3G wireless solutions, and has continued to be a leader in the space. Their Northern neighbors are doing their best to be the complete opposite, however. The Associated Press has a story today about North Korea banning mobile phones, but the background to the story is a bit more interesting. I’ve written up a longer article over at TheFeature that takes a quick look at the small rise and quick fall of mobile phones in North Korea. Before this latest ban, the technology had really started to take off, despite the repressive regime, as business men and government officials alike found the ability to communicate better quite useful. It just goes to show that no matter how useful new technologies may be in building up vital government and economic infrastructures, repressive dictators can bring it all to a stop very quickly.

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Comments on “Ever The Opposite Of The South, North Korea Bans Mobile Phones”

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dorpus says:

What if South Korean hearts are just as closed?

There was an incident in South Korea recently — an American named Mayo, age 60, who lived in Korea since 1989 with his Korean wife, walked his dog every morning, customarily saying hi to passers-by. One day he said hi to some teenage girl, and the following conversation

“Are you an American?”
“What part of America are you from?”
“Then you should go home.”

Mayo was at a loss for words, reported it to his Korean wife. The wife got upset that a kid would talk to an elder like that. The couple decided to move back to Missouri, forever.

According to Mayo, he had stayed in Korea because he liked the respect Koreans bestowed upon elders.

The article is at the link below; it’s in Japanese, but the illustration says a lot.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What if South Korean hearts are just as closed

Just think what a Korean walking his dog on the streets of Missouri might have experianced:

Bubba: Where, you from, boy?

Mr. Kim: I am from South Korea

Bubba: Well you need to get your $(*% back there

I don’t think rudeness on the part of teenagers to others is anything especially unique in any part of the world.

momo says:

Re: Re: What if South Korean hearts are just as closed

I think you missed a key sentence in the original comment.
“According to Mayo, he had stayed in Korea because he liked the respect Koreans bestowed upon elders. “

Apparently the original poster does think rudeness to elders is unique in some parts of the world. I do as well. In fact, and maybe I’m too old, it used to be that elders in the U.S. were shown respect; never to the degree other parts of the world typically have shown, but moreso than now.

Anonymous Coward says:


Respect is shown to those that earn or deserve it.
I’ve had the shits of idiot bumbling retarded ” senior citizens ” in this country that expect everyone else to think, walk & shit for them. Bitchy old men at Burger King growling they DESERVE ” senior citizen ” discounts on a cup of coffee because they are on a fixed income. So what ? They have had their entire lives to properly prepare for retirement. They had the chance for pensions ! What’s a pension ? Ask your grandfather if you can get his fat ass out of his Cadillac parked in the handi-capped space or find him on the golf course. Why the hell should I on an income of considerably less than him subsidize his cup of coffee ?

We have an entire generation of elderly Americans that are FAT, DUMB & HAPPY & have no desire to do anything useful. Fuck’em. Half of them are pumped up full of drugs, or as they call them ” prescriptions ” la-de-da-ing all over the country on bus trips to Atlantic City or Dolly-wood bemoaning how they have a difficult time deciding between medications or food. What a load of shit. All day long I deal with older people. Only about 2 out of 10 has any respect for anyone under 40. They assume everyone of us is a complete idiot. They bitch, piss & moan about how hard computers are to use and are too dilatory to educate themselves & I have no sympathy for chosen ignorance. Most of them don’t volunteer for anything. They waste gobs of money on lottery tickets & trips to Atlantic City.

You want respect – give it.

It’s a pleasure when I get the opportunity to speak with an educated, kind elderly person & I RELISH the chance to help them in every way possible.

To the rest of them, to hell with you.

gray says:


I guess you feel the same about generations younger than yours as well. By your definition, they do not contribute anything to society either. I guess your generation (all of it) is the only one that has ever contributed anything to society, made America what it is today, and you probably believe your self made.

Like any generation, the “elders” (which I assume you mean Baby Boomers and pre-baby boomers) have some sour apples, but for the most part are decent humans. The parents of the Baby Boomers sacrificed there lives, careers, and on self interest to ensure America remained free. The Baby Boomers fought in a “police action” and started the industries that today carry the US economy. Both generations lost thousands of friends, and relatives so we could enjoy our lives today.

My question to you is What self sacrifices have you or your generation made to ensure freedom for us all? Before you condemn several generations that you could not possible understand, do us all a favor by turning off the computer and showing compassion to those who have given so much. Stop the self serving attitude of “What have you done for me lately”.

Justin says:

Re: Re: Re: What if South Korean hearts are just as closed

Well, if Mayo stayed in Korea for 60 years because of the respect he got. Why leave? Why leave because of ONE incident that a teenager did not respect him? I’m thinking maybe Mayo did something to the teenager or maybe the teenager was not having a very good day.

Andreika says:


I totally agree. What is this “piling onto the back of the young.” That is a typical, spoiled brat, entitlment mentality! I am thirty years old and I don’t even pretend to assume my generation and sacrificed and innovated as much as my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents generation did. What is with my generation and the one right behind mine? Do none of us realize our lives are easy, convieant and simple because of what was already put in place for us by the generations before us? It is as though we all assume the world was always exactly how it is now. Wired, networked, mobilized, advanced and progressed and it always WAS just that way. No one is “piling” anything onto us! What is that about? And “they” didn’t vote for anything that “we” haven’t voted for. Besides that, when you get to a point in your life where you have worked for forty plus years, sacrificed, commited yourself, used self-disicpline and selflessness you EARNED a comfortable and easy ride the last thirty or so years of your life! You EARNED healthcare, pensions, housing, discounts, respect! What is this “when they earn it!” crap…hey LOSER they already DID! What did YOU earn thus far? Why do you think that only YOU are a contributing member of the human race and only YOU deserve respect and no one else does unless they kiss your ass! When you are sixty five years old and ready to retire you will be singing a different tune..that is for sure! For now anyone who can say that they “pile” debt on top of the youth or that they have to “earn” respect is a cocky, smug, uneducated, inexpereinced and spoiled little snot head kid! I agree with the person above who said your parents should slap you around, I would take it a step further and make you stand in the corner with your nose against the wall while you think about what a total ignorant ass hat you are! “They have to earn respect!” Pfft…they DID already , that is called a lifetime of achievement…YOU are the one that has a long, LONG ways to go before you deserve even a a recoginition of your existance!

Anonymous Coward says:

Oh and BTW , yes we idiotic younger people SHOULD subsidize the elderly. They subsidized OUR stupid asses by supporting us when we were kids and paying their dues in taxes that supported millions of other programs, many of which our generation has found the benefit from. All the elderly should have to do is take vacations and buy lottery tickets! Why not? Their entire lives they had to support families and do everything for everyone elese, had to give up, put things off and try and learn to deal with loses, so that when they got older they COULD enjoy a comfortable life! You act as though they were handed that! I don’t think so! The money they have saved they EARNED over a lifetime, and there are many seniors who have got screwed out of what they are owed! Honestly…has this generation become that dumbed down and dense? What the hell..I dont’ even know what to say! It sickens me! We have more than any other generation before us…and we whine as if WE alone carry the world and it would cease to exist if we did! What a bunch of offensive horsecrap! You tell others they have to “earn” your respect (as if you are that important at all) but then assume that everyone else around you is obligated to respect you? Even though you clearly didn’t earn it? Talk about your double standards….what is wrong with you? If I ever saw someone mistreating a senior citizen , they better hope to God they could run..and run FAST. I am a lard ass and out of shape, but I promise you….

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