North Korea has promoted science and technology in official messages, but new habits around smartphones could be a cause for concern. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 27 (UPI) -- North Korea state media is warning against the excessive use of smartphones among children.
Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Monday the use of phones by children who are in the developmental stages has an adverse effect on their brain health.
The rare statement on consumer technology and its uses in the Kim Jong Un regime also criticized parents who do not supervise their children.
"It is common to see parents not caring deeply about their children's use of computers and handheld phones for entertainment [gaming] use," the Rodong said. "But that is a great mistake."
Mobile phones are in use in North Korea, but networks are mostly limited to the national intranet.
The Rodong also claimed children between the ages of 3 and 5 have shown signs of impeded brain growth if they look at screens for at least an hour.
North Korea state media said the test results were derived from nuclear magnetic resonance imaging or scanning technology.
Pyongyang's media is expressing concerns of possible rising "addiction" to phones and video games in the country at a time when leader Kim wants to make advances in technology.
The Rodong on Monday described science and technology as an "inexhaustible strategic asset" the state must rely for a "frontal breakthrough."
The term, "frontal breakthrough," was used multiple times by the North Korean leader during the fifth plenary meeting of the ruling Workers' Party in December.
North Korea has called for progress in technology while rejecting economic cooperation with the more advanced South.
Seoul's politicians have not stopped calling for coordination, but on Monday South Korea's presidential Blue House dismissed a Japanese press report that claimed a top South Korean government official's idea of resuming Mount Kumgang tourism was rejected by White House staff, Seoul Pyongyang News reported.
Yomiuri Shimbun had claimed Monday President Moon Jae-in's national security adviser Chung Eui-yong had proposed tourism and other projects, but the White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien may have turned down the idea.