In a bid to enter the 21st century, North Korea has updated their national operating system (OS), Red Star, to Version 3.0
North Korea has created a lot of tension in recent years, particularly with it’s neighboring countries South Korea and Japan. This tension is often laughed off when little things come to light, like the use of Windows XP to launch missiles back in 2012. As a result, this latest update is sure to catch the eye of the Asian media. While this update happened some time last year, due to North Korea’s strict secrecy policies, the update is only coming to light now. The new Red Star OS Version 3.0 is based on Linux, and borrows heavily from Mac’s OS-X, which was released in 2001 and came preloaded on all Macs since 2002. This is seen as an interesting move, considering Red Star v2.0 was remarkably similar to Windows 7.
While the new OS looks very familiar, there are a few differences worth noting. First of all, in place of Safari is a Mozilla-like application called Naenara (“My country”) which connects to the nation-wide intranet. This country-wide-web is heavily filled with pro-government propaganda, in keeping with North Korea’s policy on blocking access to information from the rest of the world. The OS also lists the year as 103, not 2014, marking the 103 years since the birth of Kim-Il Sung, the first leader of the country, and grandfather to Kim Jong-un.
Only the rich and some universities in the country have access to this new OS. In August 2013, the North Korean leader claimed to visit a factory producing the country’s first smart phone. While technology is becoming more available to the people of North Korea, industry experts believe that these products, including their new smartphone, are more likely to be rebranded pieces of Chinese hardware.