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North Koreans Have Cell Phones - Why cell phones won’t lead to revolution and how they strengthen the regime.
Region: Asia
Location: Korea, North
Published April 2, 2012
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Until the recent passing of Kim Jong-il, the world thought of North Korea as a Stalinist, Hermit Kingdom run by a crazy, nuclear weapon-building, grey jumpsuit-wearing dictator known as the Dear Leader. Yet, against a narrative of repression, torture, and brinksmanship, North Korea has dramatically expanded its mobile telecommunication infrastructure over the last three years. Most scholars agree that cell phones increase individuality while providing an opportunity for dissent. From the 2001 “text-message revolution” in the Philippines to the more recent role of cell-phones during the Jasmine Revolutions in the Middle East, mobile telecommunication has supported political upheaval and the overthrow of governments.

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