N. Korea's First Smartphone Is Illegal to Use in N. Korea
Also, probably not actually made in N. Korea
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2013 5:38 PM CDT
A woman uses her mobile phone near a screen showing the portraits of North Korean national founder the late Kim Il Sung, left, and late leader Kim Jong Il, right.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(Newser) – North Korea has launched its first smartphone. Just one catch: data services are illegal in the Hermit Kingdom, so it's likely not much more useful than a regular cellphone, the Washington Post reports. The phones also probably aren't made in North Korea. Though a new report by state-run news agency KCNA shows Kim Jon Un inspecting the factory where the "Arirang" phones—an Android clone—are supposedly made, a North Korean analyst thinks it's more likely they're being made in China then quietly shipped in. The report shows workers inspecting the finished phone, but no actual manufacturing, reports North Korea Tech.

Why lie? Probably to stop demand for black market phones from outside North Korea, and get everyone on the government-approved and monitored version, says the Post. Not that they'll likely be doing much illicit tweeting without, you know, data. The always entertaining KCNA reported that Kim "praised them for developing an application program in Korean style which provides the best convenience to the users while strictly guaranteeing security," and "noted that mass-production of goods with DPRK trademark can instill national pride and self-respect into the Korean people."

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
HMD-SMD-ITY
Aug 12, 2013 9:56 PM CDT
Kim Jong dlingly dong bing bong on kong's dong, or translated, "One who sleeps with dog so he can sell their excrement" really has made another a$$ of himself on this one. He takes a phone made in China and then stamps his own ugly dog faced mug on it. I guess he plans to do the same thing with dog food made in China. Jong the dog excrement dealer never surprises me. Every time he does something incredibly stupid and idiotic he comes around and does something even more stupid and idiotic. How will we ever know if he does something smart? I mean if he detonates his most powerful nuke in the middle of Pyongyan, pronounced "poing, yang", the blast would barely reach Potonggang, pronounced, "Poon tawn gang" translated, town of the man who sells dog crap.
reallybig
Aug 12, 2013 6:18 PM CDT
TRUTH BE TOLD ..... I was impressed with the North Korean marching troops. Precision marching with that many troops shows discipline and training, and I was in the US Infantry and my divisions never came close to them. With the UN embargo still placed on them .. they're making great advancements. They laughed at the North Korean missiles and rockets .. and their nuclear bomb, but the US still fears those missiles, rockets and nuclear bombs.............. REALLY
InferiorToYou
Aug 12, 2013 6:06 PM CDT
Android clone?