Using a Mobile Phone in North Korea Is Now a War Crime

By Sam Biddle on at

How could living in North Korea be worse? Hmm. Maybe if your dinner caught on fire every night, or clothes were made out of a cactus, or if using a phone potentially earned you the death penalty. Sounds about right!

North Korea is holding a 100-day-long "mourning period" for the late madman Kim Jong-il. Part of the festivities include a cell phone moratorium, transgressors against which "will be branded as 'war criminals' and punished accordingly," The Telegraph reports. North Korea doesn't mess around with punishment—execution and labour camps (which is worse?) are commonplace.

Luckily, as TheNextWeb points out, less than 5 percent of North Korea's horribly impoverished population own cell phones to begin with, so the odds of being screwed by the state are low for the average citizen. So, there's the good news, I suppose. [Telegraph via TNW]