When I visited North Korea about four years ago, about 40% of the people in Pyongyang were using mobile phones.
How would they use the phone?
Well, it’s quite the same way we use it in the world.
The way I received the screenshots of the emails are written on “Weekly SPA!” (2010/12/14 edition).
I can’t show you all of what was going on….but here is what is was like.
Me: I’m interested in what kind of mails you send to each other in North Korea. Would you mind showing me some?
Women : No problem. I’ll ask my friend to text me. (calls man on the phone)
Me: (Speaks to man on the phone) Sorry, could you send something to her?
A few minutes passed but nothing came so we called the man again.
Man: Huh? I’ve already sent “strongly”,it three times!! Check again!
And then we received a fancy mail like this.
It was somewhat like ASCII Art saying “Aja Aja Fighting!” or whatever and they were slangs that were used in South Korea.
I was surprised by this.
This is probably the first coverage of a screenshot from a mobile phone in North Korea.
I wrote about this in “Tantei Files” too.
These mails with graphics were shown to me from a nurse when I was ill in North Korea.She was 24 and she had a boy friend.She was shy at first, but my tour guide shouted to her “Come on! Just show it to us!” and she finally did….only for a little while.
Back then, the fees for the phones had to be prepaid with this card.