N. Korea stresses etiquette in mobile phone use
SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Yonhap) -- With growing access to mobile phones in North Korea, the communist country has published a set of guidelines on how to treat others with respect through the new medium.
A quarterly North Korean magazine on culture, obtained by Yonhap News Agency on Sunday, includes a piece titled "Language etiquette in phone conversations," which stresses the importance of proper manners in mobile phone use.
"As mobile phones are being used increasingly in today's society, there has been a tendency among some people to neglect proper phone etiquette," according to the piece in the latest issue of the magazine, published on Aug. 27.
"On mobile phones, unlike on land lines, conversations usually take place with knowledge of the other person. However, even in such cases, one must not neglect to introduce oneself or offer greetings," it says, apparently referring to the fact that the caller's number appears on mobile phones.
In an example, the magazine claims that if the recipient does not introduce himself upon answering a call, the caller must go through the process of asking, "Hello? Is it you, comrade Yeong-cheol?"
It also stresses that it is more polite for the recipient to not only introduce himself but to also acknowledge that he is aware of who the caller is.
If not, the caller must go through the inconvenience of identifying himself, the magazine says.
"Speaking loudly or arguing over the phone in public places where many people are gathered is thoughtless and impolite behavior," it adds.
North Korea keeps a tight control on the flow of information within and across its borders.
Still, about 2.5 million people are estimated to be subscribed to the country's mobile operator Koryolink, a joint venture with Egypt's Orascom Telecom.