PYONGYANG, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Foreigners who come to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) are allowed to bring their cellphones with them starting on Jan. 7, a technician with the Korean-Egyptian joint venture company Koryolink told Xinhua on Sunday.
"Just fill a registration form at the Customs with your phone' s IMEI number, you can bring your own phones to DPRK," said a unnamed Egyptian technician.
"If you want to make international calls, the WCDMA 3G mobile phone owners can purchase our Koryolink SIM card, which costs 50 euro," the technician said.
For decades before, foreigners visiting the DPRK must leave their cellphones at the Customs and can pick them up on departure.
"We have tried hard to negotiate with the Korean security side, and got the approval recently," said the Egyptian, noting that "it has nothing to do with the Google trip."
In fact, foreigners still can not really use the Koryolink 3G network, with no internet access allowed yet. The Koryolink staff said that the mobile internet service for foreigners will be opened soon. "It is not a technical problem, we just wait for the DPRK authority' s approval."
There are 1.8 million Koreans using 3G cellphones across the country since 2008, which supports MMS and video call. But their mobile phones can neither make international calls nor connect to the Internet. Furthermore, Koreans and Foreigners can not make calls between each other due to their SIM cards set by different segments.