North Hamgyong Province intensifies inspections of USBs
Customs checkpoints in North Korea are intensifying inspections of handheld data storage devices such as USBs and at times preventing the devices from being brought into the country, Daily NK sources have reported.
The heightened inspections may be related to a recent major arrest of ‘smugglers’ of external information in Chongjin, North Hamgyong Province, in July. A large number of people including Ministry of State Security (MSS) officials and police officers were arrested or called in for questioning in the city after accessing foreign movies, dramas and other foreign media. Daily NK sources suggest that foreign media may have been leaked into the country through so-called “stealth USBs.”
“These stealth USBs typically appear blank and new but then after being used a couple of times reveal foreign videos and other content,” a Daily NK source said on Wednesday. “That may be why customs checkpoints in North Hamgyong Province are taking a more careful look and prohibiting some new USBs from being brought into the country.”
The source also noted that a customs officer familiar to him told North Korean traders traveling to China not to bring USBs back as they could “cause problems.” ......