A phone call to your brother in North Korea, or the parable of Lilliput

North Korea is shut to the outside world. No Internet or phone lines connect its ordinary citizens to the outside world. They don’t know how people live outside, how are their houses, how they dress or what they eat. Unauthorized contacts can earn you harsh prison sentences, or worse. That’s why one secret phone call between brothers made the news. The ingredients for that subversive act were a mobile phone, Internet and Skype. Smugglers are bringing in cellphones. North Koreans hook them up to the powerful Chinese networks and take calls from family who managed to flee. A tiny cellphone can beat an army in that. The six-inch tall Lilliputians made Gulliver their prisoner. Jonathan Swift’s book was intended as a political satire, but North Korea is no joke.

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