Smuggled via China? Kim Jong seen with smartphone at North Korea missile launch
North Korea is banned under UN sanctions from importing or exporting electronic devices.
As North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the launch of his country's newest and most powerful ballistic missile, he was spotted with a shiny gadget: a foldable smartphone. Photos released by the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed a silver foldable handset in black leather casing, similar to Samsung's Galaxy Z or China's Huawei Pocket S phones.
The photo began speculation about where the phone came from as South Korea's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, “If the object in the photo is a foldable phone, it is highly likely that it was secretly smuggled to North Korea via China.”
Earlier as well, Kim Jong Un's love for gadgets has been an object of curiosity as he has been pictured using what appeared to be Apple products, including iPads and Macbooks before.
North Korea is banned under UN sanctions from importing or exporting electronic devices. US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook said that only around 19 percent of the North Korean population are estimated to have access to mobile phones.
Following the launch, Kim Jong Un said that North Korea would ramp up weapons testing activities to expand its arsenal in response to recent US steps to enhance its security commitment to South Korea.
“The present unstable situation in which the security environment on the Korean peninsula is being seriously threatened by the hostile forces every moment,” Kim Jong Un said, according to state media.
“(That) requires more intense efforts to implement the line of bolstering nuclear war deterrent," he added, calling the launch “another important stride” in efforts to boost the North Korea’s strategic forces.