N Koreans-tablet PCs

SEOUL, March 15 (Yonhap) -- More North Koreans are using locally made tablet PCs to surf the intranet and watch TV, a media report showed Friday.

Chosun Sinbo, the official newspaper of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, said there has been an increase in people owning tablet PCs with greater amount of data stored on various intranet Web sites that can be viewed by ordinary people.

An intranet is a computer network that uses Internet Protocol technology to share information and computing services within an organization or group.

It said tablet owners can view information on official sites such as the Grand People's Study House, and claimed there were up to 110 home pages in the country containing 300 million individual documents and data, mainly in the field of education.

The daily said the tablets are made by such companies as Pyongyang Informatics Center and can be used to take photos, record sound and video, replay music, and read books or documents. It said some devices made by the Korean Computer Center can even be used to watch regular TV programs.

"It is not uncommon to see people using tablets in libraries and restaurants in Pyongyang," the paper published in Japan said.

It added that data can viewed on the intranet even from a person's home.

Related to the report, North Korea watchers in Seoul said the report is a sign that more people are using mobile devices compared to the past, but at the same time, reveals that Pyongyang is still not permitting its people to gain access to the Internet used by much of the rest of the world.

They said that only a handful of authorized people using special computers can actually surf the Internet.

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