It’s hard to reconcile the modern world we live in — where information is readily accessible and flows freely — with the reality of what life is like for the vast majority of North Koreans who remain under the draconian rule of an oppressive regime that, quite literally, does everything in its power to shield its populace from any information that isn’t tailor-made or approved by government officials.
Netflix is committed to supplying a never-ending stream of Western entertainment straight into the eyeballs of the populace. North Korea is committed to none of those things. So it’s a bit of a mystery why North Korea has built a Netflix clone, but I sure am glad that there’s photos of it.
North Korea News has the scoop on “Manbang” (no, really), the North Korean set-top box service that is supposed to rival Netflix. It offers the ability to watch five channels in real time, browse TV by category, and view information about the Glorious Leader. Manbang and chill? Sounds about right.
It’s always fun seeing Conan O’Brien travel to foreign countries and generally act like a big goofball. Last year, for example, he went to visit Cuba and proceeded to get hilariously wasted on Cuban rum. This year he’s decided to travel to a communist country that’s significantly more dangerous: North Korea. More →
Wouldn’t it be great if you could drink as much as you like without getting a hangover? It seems that some researchers are claiming to have figured out a way to make hangover-free although you should be skeptical since these researchers happen to be from North Korea. In case you don’t remember, past North Korean “innovations” have included developing a wonder drug that purportedly cures cancer, AIDS and Ebola. More →
While we were winding down last night after a long day covering CES 2016 and the rest of the country was finishing up its day as well, North Korea was detonating a nuclear bomb.
At 10:00 a.m. local time in the Eastern country, a Kim Jong Un ordered test of what the country claims to have been a small hydrogen bomb set off seismic activity alarms in South Korea and Japan, registering as a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. The alarms led both nations to believe immediately that a nuclear device had been tested in North Korea and their concerns were confirmed when North Korean state TV announced the test later in the morning.
North Korea last tested a nuclear bomb in 2013, and this is the fourth time North Korea has detonated a nuclear device in recent years. More →
As the most closed-off country on the planet, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the North Korean government developed its own homegrown operating system that can be used to spy on its citizens.
Fueled by an unprecedented level of paranoia and a desire to keep its populace in line and closed off from the outside world, North Koreans outside of the government are completely shut off from the Internet. In its place? A nationwide intranet heavily controlled and monitored by the powers that be. And the mysterious operating system powering most of the computers in the country today? Red Star OS.
A couple of weeks back, we marveled at just how crazy North Korea really is. What prompted our sense of awe was the reclusive country’s proclamation that it had discovered a single drug that could cure AIDS, MERS and Ebola all at once. At the time we said we thought it was the craziest thing North Korea had ever come up with, but that’s only because we forgot about its amazing proclamation back in 2012 that its archaeologists had discovered a unicorn lair in its capital city of Pyongyang. More →
Every time you find yourself complaining about your boss, just remember things could always be worse — for instance, you could be working for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Per Reuters, it seems that North Korea this week executed its own defense minister after he fell asleep during a political rally where Kim Jong Un was present. After being formally charged with “treason” for this transgression, the official was killed by an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range. More →
The United States just struck back against North Korea for its alleged role in the hack of Sony Pictures. In official statement released on Friday, U.S. president Barack Obama said he was signing an executive order authorizing stiff sanctions against North Korea for its “ongoing provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.” More →
North Korea’s seeming victory over James Franco and Seth Rogen’s hit comedy was very short-lived. Not only has the film become a sensation after being released online but now The Associated Press, via USA Today, reports that an activist in South Korea plans to airdrop DVDs of The Interview into North Korea in the hopes that North Koreans will get a chance to see the film for themselves. More →
Much has been made about movie theater chains’ decision to reject running The Interview on December 25th due to safety concerns. It is now becoming clear that these theaters have made a huge miscalculation that may cause much bigger problems than just reputation damage. More →
Was the North Korean government really the mastermind behind the massive hack on Sony? Many researchers have continued to express skepticism about this claim and The Security Ledger reports that researchers at security firm Norse may have uncovered the best evidence yet that the Sony hack was actually an inside job. More →