WeChat Now Banned in North Korea

By Tatiana Bautista, June 7, 2016

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Apparently, WeChatting is now a crime… in North Korea, that is. Anyone caught using foreign messaging apps (i.e. Kakao Talk, Line, WeChat) can be arrested for alleged espionage, reports Daily NK.

Authorities have utilized signal detectors to track anyone who makes an international call and can pinpoint their location. North Koreans who are found giving or receiving foreign information will be labeled as a traitor, and punishment is not light.

READ MORE: American citizen sentenced to six years' hard labor in North Korea for 'hostile acts'

Espionage offenders will be sent to a political prison camp, and clemency will reportedly not be offered regardless of the circumstance. Sounds like a rough punishment just for having an app to text people.

There has been increased surveillance and crackdown on foreign messaging apps specifically, since they have the ability to bypass the authorities’ detectors used to track the locations of ‘traitors’. Authorities are increasingly aware of this and have become extremely vigilant of activity on South Korean apps Kakao and Line and China's extremely popular WeChat platform.

READ MORE: WeChat Passes 700 Million Monthly Users

“The authorities decided to define such activity as espionage and handed down an order to strictly punish offenders,” said an anonymous source from Ryanggang province.

Guess that means people won’t be sending funny Kim Jong Un WeChat stickers anytime soon. 

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