North Korea is a country which appears in the ‘political’ category more often in international media. To be honest I haven’t seen North Korea producing any notable news related to any other category such as Entertainment, Technology, Economy, etc. But country has been a hot topic in the category of ‘Technology’ since last week in international media. That is because, The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has released several photos showing leader Kim Jong-un inspecting a North Korean Smartphone factory, as well as taking a look at the country’s first smartphone, the ‘Arirang’. The most notable feature of Arirang seems to be the built-in camera it has, because KNCA reported that the leader praised the “high pixels” of the built-in camera.
North Korea has been a mystery land for most of the outsiders. Opposite is also the same. The people of North Korea have very limited access to news outside the country. Until 2008 North Korea didn’t have a national mobile network. Mobile phones were introduced to North Korea in 2008. The national network is maintained thanks to a joint operation by the North Korean government and Egyptian telecoms company Orascom.
Though mobile network is deployed, the serviced delivered to the people are very limited compared to the services experienced by the subscribers of most other countries with better political environment. In North Korea phones on the network are heavily restricted. As per the news coming from international media subscribers do not have the luxury of connecting to internet and can only make calls within North Korea. For a short time, foreigners in the country were able to use mobile internet. But it was also restricted to a golden period of 1 month.
As per the reports coming out, Arirang has Google’s Android OS running on it. This might be a result of Google’s Executive Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt’s recent visit to North Korea on behalf of Google.
Earlier in the year North Korea boasted about a home – made Tablet names ‘The Samjiyon’. But later it was found out that it is not a device made in North Korea.
The concern is, what would be the use of a Smartphone running Android OS in it, without access to internet.