- Popular as a method to avoid detection watching foreign movies
- Purchasers paying in advance of hard drive receipt
- Authorities struggling to stem the tide
- Elite and governing classes have preference for the hardware
According to a North Korean trade source, those who enjoy foreign dramas and movies are avoiding the inspections of the current crackdown by using external hard drives.
DVD players are susceptible to the deliberate power outages caused by the inspectors as the discs are trapped inside and can't be taken out. External drives, on the other hand, are easier to conceal. A USB may be more practical to hide but people prefer the external hard drives because they can carry more content says the source.
This is something the North Korean authorities are well aware of. And they have set out to crackdown on personal or group company traders traveling back through China to the North from bringing the hard drives into the country. This has not stopped the trade in external hard drives by state, private, and individual businessman, however, because of the profits involved.
In many instances, those wanting an external hard drive provide North Korean businessmen entering China with the cost of the product in advance of their departure.
And because so many of those requesting the drives are members of the elite or governing officials themselves, the actual number caught illicitly bringing the hardware into North Korea has been relatively desultory. Open Radio obviously cannot state the names of those involved but a roll call of names would reveal workers from the same company and student friends sharing the drives.
Translation by Danny Lee