North Korea is expected to register the 1 millionth cell phone user by the end of the year, barely four years after people were thrown into prison camps, or possibly even executed, for owning one.
Most of the users are in the capital of Pyongyang, home to the impoverished country’s elite and powerful who have the cash to splash out for a device and the calling fees.
The authoritarian government ended a ban on cell phones in 2008, signing a four-year deal with Egyptian company Orascom to build the 3G network in partnership with the government.
A report this month by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability said 60 percent of people ages 20 to 50 use cell phones in Pyongyang, a city of around 3 million people who are strictly vetted by the state for residency permits. Calling fees have fallen this year, driving the surge in demand, reports say.
But you cannot dial into or out of the country, and there is no Internet. The government still keeps a stranglehold on all news flows into the destitute state.
Cell phones and the Internet have been used to rally a revolutionary wave of protests and civil wars that have brought down iron rulers from Hosni Mubarak to Muammar Qaddafi. But analysts say this is unlikely to happen in North Korea because strict state media controls limit what people know about the outside world.
1. splash out v. phr.
揮霍 (hui1 huo4)
例: Her boyfriend doesn’t mind her splashing out.
2. stranglehold n.
管制 (guan3 zhi4)
例: In France, supermarkets have less of a stranglehold on food supplies.
3. bring down v. phr.
拉下；使…失敗 (la1 xia4; shi3…shi1 bai4)
例: This scandal may well bring the president down at the next election.
Shocks to supply chains are engulfing a wider swath of the global economy as the pandemic rages on, threatening to stifle Asia’s trade-led recovery just as soaring freight rates make it harder for businesses to weather another year like 2020. Shortages of consumer goods like paper towels and work-from-home gear early in the COVID-19 crisis have given way to parts shortfalls in one of the most globally integrated of industries: auto manufacturing. Compounding the industrial imbalances are transport woes plaguing consumer and healthcare sectors still dealing with a dearth of available shipping containers to move components and finished products out of China,
During the recent cold snap, temperatures at the 2,216m-above-sea-level Alishan Forest Recreation Area have plummeted to as low as minus 1 degree Celsius. Former Siang Lin Primary School principal Huang Yuan-ming on Tuesday published several photographs on the “Alishan.fans“ Facebook page . Although there has not yet been any snowfall in the area, due to insufficient atmospheric moisture, there are still red leaves on the maple trees. The red leaves are complemented by a sea of clouds surrounding snow-capped Yushan in the distance, creating a picturesque wintertime vista. During sunrise and sunset, the sun’s golden rays wash over the snow-covered slopes
A: Some toys were cool, some were badly conceived and some were toxic. B: Toxic? What do you mean? A: I had a collection of cartoon figurines. They were part of a promotion from a gas station. It turns out there was lead in the paint used on them. They had to be withdrawn. Lead paint is toxic. B: I remember those. They later reintroduced them with non-toxic paint, didn’t they? And the ones with the safe paint had a little blue spot on the base of the foot to distinguish them from the poisonous ones. A: That’s right.
The toys we had when we were young (5/5) 我們小時候玩的玩具（五） A: And then later, when we were teenagers, we put away the toys and played with games consoles instead. B: Ah yes, simplistic game scenarios and block graphics, with low quality audio and visual effects. A: That’s right. And they came on tapes that wore out after a couple of months because we played the games every night after school. B: They’re not a fraction of the quality or sophistication of the current generation of computer games, but I used to love playing those. A: It was just the generation we were in, I guess. B: That’s