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back to article NORKS prepping glorious People's Smartmobe

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has visited a mobile phone factory in the reclusive nation and revealed some details of a handset dubbed the “Arirang”. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) isn't the kind of source to go heavy on tech specs and its English isn't the best, so we don't know just what the phone runs but is widely …

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”Their camera function has high pixels”

Ignoring the funny English

(my translation into NK would be worse, but then again I can use Google translate and a few other websites to verify the output which would sort that out)

They are giving their people cameras?

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Big Brother

Re: ”Their camera function has high pixels”

Sure who would want to forgot such excitement as "military parade to honour the dear leader", "statue of the dear leader" (make sure to get all of him in frame or else that would be disrespectful) “mosaic of the dear leader” “airing games to honour the dear leader” and no doubt to ensure security all pictures and phone conversation are monitored because if the Americans do it we can do it and ten times better.

What el reg no dear leader icon?

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Silver badge

Re: ”Their camera function has high pixels”

not to mention the look on his face when holding the phone which was along the lines of

"shit my iphones so much better than this, where's the titties".

Interesting to see (like we will) their justification for using android (nix) over developing their own obviously superior phone o/s.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ”They are giving their people cameras?”

They are giving only 'special' party members a camera.

Which they won't be bothered with because they will be too busy with their iphone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ”Their camera function has high pixels”

> They are giving their people cameras?

All pictures are silently uploaded to Norkasa, where the authorities can look for any slight signs of people being anything other than good well-behaved citizens, as they need some more workers for their gulags.

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Coat

Re: ”Their camera function has high pixels”

"This is not just a high pixel camera- It's a Nexus Un."

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Devil

I wonder if they export

Could be my company replacment for all the blackberry we have hanging around

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This is propaganda.

Any serious NK watcher knows it.

There is no market for smartphones in NK. They can't even feed themselves without foreign food aid, let alone afford to buy a smartphone. Furthermore, the regime doesn't even want people to be able to communicate with each other - let alone the outside world. It's still official policy to forbid unauthorised travel WITHIN the country.

Its well documented that NK's power supply is wholly unreliable. Even PyongYang - the most "sophisticated" of NK's cities - doesn't have a 24/7 supply.

Their assembly 'factory' is just DPRK spin on 'sweat shop'.

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Big Brother

Re: This is propaganda.

I wouldn't put it past the Dear/Great leader to hand these phones out to all the elites as a gift while making sure that all conversations emails and pictures end up being monitored by his special security force.

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Silver badge

Re: This is propaganda.

"Their assembly 'factory' is just DPRK spin on 'sweat shop'."

Not sure it's even that. If you see the photo's they released with this story, There is a table with a few boxes lined up on it. Kim has his usual comical entourage, each standing in proscribed butt-monkey style holding a pen, brow furrowed in concentration, ready to record every globule of divine guidance Kim expresses.

You can be sure if the factory was really operational, they would get a shot with stacked up pallets of product and not just a few lined up on a table. It really is sad and pathetic.

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Re: This is propaganda.

Yeah, more likely the phones are manufactured by one of the big Chinese factories and shipped in bulk to NK, then this 'factory' puts them in boxes and poses for propaganda photo-ops

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Big Brother

"while strictly guaranteeing security"

"Yes, we guarantee that when our Security Services monitor your calls, we won't give out that information to just anyone...!"

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Re: "while strictly guaranteeing security"

Just like the NSA then?

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Being a Norkphone fanboi is fantastic

Because if someone starts bragging about their superior iPhone or Samsung you have them arrested.

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I'm relying on el Reg

To cover rumour site dodgy photos, spec speculation, fannorks queuing, same waving precious box, unboxing and blending.

I haven't been this interested in a mobile since my Palm Treo.

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Re: I'm relying on el Reg

Possibly the only time when you buy a phone and get it home to realise you were sold a box of apples... and are happy.

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Angel

Re: Convenient for its user when that part of the phone is sensitive

Ooohh, aaahh. And ahead of western imperialist pigs!

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Gimp

Where is the obligatory...

picture of Kim-Jong Un looking at things (http://kimjongunlookingatthings.tumblr.com/http://kimjongunlookingatthings.tumblr.com/), in this case smartphone assembly?

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Coat

Yes, but will it have an angry birds clone?

Or, as the NORKs call it, People's glorious avians of righteous porcine retribution.

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Re: Yes, but will it have an angry birds clone?

Don't you mean 'righteous capitalist western porcine retribution'?

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Mobile phone as propaganda tool ...

... there's an app for that.

In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the Great Satan of Cupertino already has a patent for it.

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Arirang advertising

Frank Bruno to front the campaign obviously.

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Thumb Up

Re: Arirang advertising

You, sir, win the internet.

Might need to be explained to our Leftpondian cousins though, especially those who aren't familiar with the Marquess of Queensbury and his rules.

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Pint

Re: Arirang advertising

My thoughts exactly, but as you've already aired them have an upvote instead.

Well done that man...

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Facepalm

I will just assume that....

...the rest of the network infrastructure (towers etc) will just sprout like trees from the ground, sometime next week? Probably to coincide with the grand announcement of the doubling of the nations total computing power (from the 1st powered up handset ).....

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Anonymous Coward

Fantastic. Now even in the remote regions they can Live tweet their daily choice of starvation or kill and eat a neighbour.

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Claims of "North Korea stuck in Middle Age" greatly exaggerated

It's always fun to have a larf at the expense of the Norks, and it's somewhat of a Vulture tradition.

But the sentiment expressed in many of these comments and in recent media brouhaha RE: NK documentary disregards the fact that many of the actual people there aren't dumb (just like elsewhere).

There is a huge underground economy powering much of the country, feeding people (you can't just eat imaginary peaches grown on an imaginary farm) etc, and owning/operating all the latest tech kit from China within the reach of the northern border.

And the party leaders quietly accept that, too, so that people don't fall over dead in the street all the time.

You can't just promise them a bowl of kim-chee and have 500,000 soldiers turn up for a military parade, you have to give it to them as well, so you have to go to the black market to buy a few heads of cabbage and such beforehand.

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Big Brother

handset as possessing the following features:

•”An application program in Korean style which provides the best convenience to the users while strictly guaranteeing security”

•”Convenient for its user when that part of the phone is sensitive”

•”Their camera function has high pixels”

In other words, it can automagically censor you, monitor you and spy on you when you use it...

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"Just like in the US/UK." New glorious happy fun game to try!

Want to try a fun game? Go down the comments and see how many things actually apply to the west these days.

"In other words, it can automagically censor you, monitor you and spy on you when you use it.."

Just like in the US/UK!

As to poverty and starvation in the populace - we're not in as bad a state as we are led to believe NK is, but we should perhaps not laugh too loudly...

A significant proportion of America is hardly well fed.

http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/hunger-and-poverty-statistics.aspx

Food banks are becoming an essential part of life for many in the UK. (To the tune of 250k in 2012-2013)

http://www.trusselltrust.org/resources/documents/Press/BIGGEST-EVER-INCREASE-IN-UK-FOODBANK-USE.pdf

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The tech reports I've heard mention two interesting "features" about the Arirang: it does not access the Internet /at all/, and it cannot make international calls.

Because, goodness knows, the average North Korean must not communicate beyond the borders of the DPRK. That road leads to madness.

*cues up "One Step Beyond"*

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The phone will...

- Allow the DPRK to switch on the microphone and take a picture at any time

- Automatically store all text messages and usage on DPRK servers

- Use GPS to report the location of subjects attempting to slag off the DPRK

- Only allow the national anthem to be used as a ringtone

- Receive propaganda news stories from the DPRK and instantly play or display taking over whatever the user is doing

- Allow the DPRK to set off a missile bound for any hostile country from anyone's handset thus taking the heat away from the leader and army!

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MJI
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Re: The phone will...

Missiles?

Do they have any washing machines left to drop on people?

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