Entertain Magic

Homegrown North Korean ‘Innovations’

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At all times desperate to show their superiority to their Western foes, the North Korean regime has a popularity for making extraordinary claims and exaggerating its achievements. In relation to expertise, North Korea has been particularly apt to tout its many homegrown improvements.

The ruling ideology of the nation, Juche, requires self-reliance of the Korean nation. On this spirit, these innovations function propaganda instruments, serving to the regime to deceive its residents into believing that their nation is on an equal technological footing with the remainder of the world. Nonetheless, trying a bit nearer, one will discover that the majority of those homegrown “improvements” are normally nothing greater than inferior-quality copies of international merchandise.


10 Arirang Smartphone

The Arirang, named after a Korean folks track, is North Korea’s first try at manufacturing its personal smartphone. The machine, introduced in 2013, was reported by North Korean state information to be totally constructed inside the nation. Supreme Chief Kim Jong Un himself personally inspected the telephone in an effort to assist advertise.

The telephone seems to run on a modified type of the Android working system, however the precise performance of the machine is questionable, provided that there isn’t a outdoors Web entry in North Korea. Koryolink, the nation’s sole cell service supplier, solely permits home calls and entry to a small quantity of accredited web sites on the nation’s “intranet” service.

The design of the telephone itself has been known as into query. Consultants have famous the similarity of the design to the low-end Chinese language Uniscope U1201 smartphone (which you’ll see for your self within the above image). There may be hypothesis that the Arirang may very well be produced in China and shipped to North Korean “factories,” permitting the regime to take credit score for the expertise.

9 Crimson Star OS

Crimson Star OS is the official working system of North Korea. In search of to distance itself from the American-developed Home windows working system, North Korea started growing its personal in 2002. Crimson Star OS superficially resembles Mac OS X however is definitely a closely modified Linux distribution. The OS features a modified model of Firefox known as Naenara, Korean for “my nation,” on which the person can entry the beforehand talked about intranet.

Your complete working system was constructed with management of data in thoughts. Crimson Star has the flexibility to “watermark” information so as to hint their distribution, permitting the North Korean state to crack down on international media transferred utilizing USB drives. The OS may be very immune to tampering; if a person makes an attempt to make any adjustments similar to disabling the firewall, the pc will routinely reboot itself.


eight Junma Luxurious Automotive

The Junma is a knockoff luxurious automobile constructed by Pyeonghwa Motors, a three way partnership between a politically lively South Korean church and a North Korean government-owned enterprise. Pyeonghwa Motors completely owns the rights to automotive manufacturing and sale in North Korea and is the one enterprise that’s recognized to run billboard commercials within the nation.

The Junma is the top-of-the-line “luxurious” automobile in Pyeonghwa’s lineup. This sedan relies on a South Korean automobile, itself a replica of a Mercedes-Benz E-class from the mid-1990s. Though probably the most highly effective Pyeonghwa automobile, the Junma’s 197-horsepower engine pales compared to trendy sports activities automobiles. With the common North Korean citizen being barred from driving, the Junma is presumably meant for high-ranking authorities officers.

The manufacturing statistics for the Junma are fully unknown, however the general automobile manufacturing of Pyeonghwa Motors is estimated at about 1,000 models per 12 months. Unusually, the corporate does export some automobiles to Vietnam, so if you’re desperate to get your self one in every of these “luxurious” rides, you would possibly be capable of purchase one there!

7 Samjiyon Pill

The Samjiyon is a North Korean pill laptop first launched in 2012. The pill runs a typical Android construct and prices $200. Just like the Arirang smartphone, the built-in browser solely permits entry to the closely managed authorities intranet. The machine doesn’t provide Wi-Fi assist, but it surely does have a TV tuner fastened to the frequencies of North Korea’s two state-run tv channels.

The machine ships with a shocking assortment of apps. A replica of a Chinese language tank recreation and a translated “Offended Birds Rio” are among the many leisure options. Additionally included is a studying app loaded with books about Kim Il Sung, etiquette for youngsters, and language studying. Regardless of being an Android machine, the Google Play Retailer app (together with all different Google apps) is absent, making it inconceivable to obtain another apps. What you see is what you get with the Samjiyon.

Based on a overview completed by a vacationer who was in a position to purchase one of many units at a Pyongyang present store, the pill is “surprisingly spectacular.” The specs of the machine are corresponding to others from 2012, and the reviewer remarked that responsiveness and pace of the Samjiyon are spectacular, with practically no animation lag to talk of. It’s suspected that the machine would possibly truly be manufactured not less than partially by a Chinese language firm.

6 Sort 73 Gentle Machine Gun

The Sort 73 gentle machine gun is among the solely homegrown firearm designs utilized by the North Korean Military, which primarily arms its troops with copies of outdated Soviet weaponry. The Sort 73 itself is an odd patchwork of Jap Bloc weaponry, with a physique resembling the Soviet PK machine gun and the feeding mechanism of the Czechoslovakian Vz.52. The Sort 73 fires from a dual-feed system, that means that it will probably fireplace utilizing both a top-mounted field journal or a belt of ammunition. The weapon sports activities a wood deal with and buttstock, a far cry from the light-weight plastic composite equipment of most trendy machine weapons.

Surprisingly, the gun has been noticed within the palms of militants in Africa and the Center East. Iran acquired a number of of the weapons from North Korea through the Iran-Iraq Conflict. Later, the weapons have been discovered being utilized by pro-Assad forces within the Syrian Civil Conflict and Houthi rebels in Yemen. Most of the weapons utilized in these conflicts would possibly truly be of Iranian origin. After receiving their preliminary cargo from North Korea, Iranian factories mass-produced their very own copies of the design, which helps clarify the Sort 73’s widespread prevalence. For being a replica of a replica, the weapon appears to carry up surprisingly effectively.


5 Kwangmyongsong-1

Kwangmyongsong-1, that means “Shiny Star 1,” was North Korea’s first satellite tv for pc, launched in August 1998. The North Korean media claimed the launch to be a powerful success, reporting that the satellite tv for pc broadcasted patriotic hymns in Morse code because it orbited the Earth. The one downside with this seemingly spectacular accomplishment is that the satellite tv for pc was not detected at any American monitoring station. Finally, specialists concluded that it had in all probability solely entered a low orbit earlier than falling again into the ocean.

Like many different applied sciences on this record, Kwangmyongsong-1 might have been a Chinese language knockoff. The polyhedral design of the satellite tv for pc is suspiciously just like the China’s first satellite tv for pc, the Dong Fang Hong I, which itself exhibits similarities to an earlier American satellite tv for pc. The questionable design and performance of the satellite tv for pc didn’t cease the North Korean state media from proclaiming it a hit, declaring that the launch “encourages the Korean folks within the efforts to construct a strong socialist state underneath the smart management of Normal Secretary Kim Jong Il.”

four Vinylon Fiber

The origins of Vinylon fiber will be traced again to the Imperial Japanese rule over Korea. In 1939, a Korean chemist, alongside along with his Japanese schools, first developed this artificial fiber. The fiber, produced utilizing polyvinyl alcohol, was claimed by the Kim regime as their very own when its inventor defected to North Korea after the Korean Conflict. Positioned underneath heavy financial sanctions by the surface world, North Korea lacked the uncooked supplies it have to be self-sufficient. Because of this, the North Korean regime promoted Vinylon, which may very well be simply made utilizing native supplies.

Vinylon fiber shortly turned a strong propaganda software for the North Korean authorities. It was dubbed the “Juche fiber,” named after the official ideology of the nation. The North Korean authorities constructed an enormous “Vinylon metropolis” manufacturing plant and closely promoted the product, which it considered for instance of North Korean self-reliance. In a propaganda track entitled “How Grand Socialism Is!” the singers reward how “the vinylon cloth pours out like a waterfall.”

Mockingly, Vinylon fiber, simply because the Juche ideology it represented, proved to be lower than profitable in the long term. As soon as produced in enormous portions, Vinylon declined after the widespread adoption of different artificial textiles similar to nylon. At current, North Korea imports mass quantities of international textiles for uniform manufacturing—a lot for the Juche fiber.

three Kwangmyong Intranet

As beforehand talked about on this article, North Korean residents can not freely entry the worldwide Web however are as an alternative restricted to a small quantity of government-approved domains. This nationwide intranet service, referred to as Kwangmyong, is just accessible from inside the nation. The Kwangmyong, like North Korea as a complete, may be very secretive, however the small quantity of obtainable details about the system means that it’s fairly restricted in scope. The intranet is primarily utilized by libraries, universities, and different authorities organizations.

There are an estimated 1,000 to five,000 web sites on the Kwangmyong—all government-controlled. Amongst these web sites, you will see the same old state information businesses, full with a particular part on the web site, “Supreme Chief’s Actions,” reporting the latest actions of Kim Jong Un. Apart from propaganda and official enterprise, the Kwangmyong can be outfitted with its personal search engine, social media web site, and messaging service.

The system has a number of distinctive options which may shock common Web customers. A photograph of a poster in a North Korean library taken by a vacationer exhibits that the web sites’ addresses are composed totally of numbers. This numeric format, the IP handle of an internet site, is utilized by computer systems to route net site visitors however is commonly supplemented by a word-based area title for straightforward entry by folks. Simply think about having to sort in a string of numbers each time you wish to go to Listverse. One other distinctive characteristic of Kwangmyong web sites is that the written names of the Nice Leaders Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung should be coded to look bolder and 20 % bigger than the remainder of the encircling textual content.

2 Manbang Streaming Service

The privileged few North Korean residents with disposable earnings have the choice to look at applications on-demand by a service referred to as Manbang. The service, launched in 2016, streams content material to televisions by a set-top field. As with the intranet, the content material on Manbang is usually restricted to state-controlled information and films, however there are additionally language-learning applications educating English and Russian.

Just like Netflix, the service permits customers to flick thru video classes and search utilizing key phrases. The search display UI is deceptively just like its American counterpart. Netflix itself took discover of the brand new North Korean expertise, altering its Twitter account to learn “Manbang knockoff”—a intelligent tongue-in-cheek quip.

1 Hwasong-10 Missile

The Hwasong-10, also referred to as the Musudan, is among the latest North Korean ballistic missile improvements. Able to reaching US navy bases within the Pacific, the Hwasong-10 has been utilized in many controversial missile exams which have led to elevated stress within the area.

Unsurprisingly, North Korea was not in a position to develop this expertise fully independently, counting on assist from pleasant Communist nations. Work on the missile started within the 1990s, when North Korea contracted Russian engineers to assist construct a missile based mostly off of an older Soviet design.

The primary two exams of the brand new missile failed at launch, and the third take a look at traveled solely a brief distance. The fourth take a look at truly exploded on the launch pad, supposedly killing launch web site personnel. Later exams resulted in an elevated flight distance, regarding United States navy officers that the missile may very well be used to focus on Guam.


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