S Korea denies smartphones to Iran, N Korea players

Press TV- South Korean officials say they will not provide Iranian and North Korean players with Samsung smartphones which are available free to all other athletes at the Winter Olympics starting Friday.

State news agency Yonhap quoted PyeongChang Olympic organizers as saying Wednesday that the decision had been taken in line with sanctions on the two countries.

According to the report, Samsung Electronics will offer some 4,000 units of the Galaxy Note 8 Olympic Edition to all athletes and International Olympic Committee officials, but not to 22 North Korean and four Iranian athletes.

The officials claimed that the smartphones could potentially be used for military purposes, violating the UN sanctions that ban providing the countries with luxury goods and products for such use.

The decision is set to anger Iran which is a key market for Samsung products in the Middle East, including smartphones and home appliances such as washing machines, televisions, air conditioners and telecommunications equipment.

In 2013, Samung raised a storm after Iranian users of mobile applications said the company had notified them that they would no longer have access to the company’s online store.

Owners of mobile phones and tablets said they had received messages via e-mail from the company which said it could not provide access to Samsung Apps in Iran because of “legal barriers”.