By James Pearson
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has warned foreigners living in Pyongyang not to share outside media on memory sticks with its citizens, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a note, cracking down on what the isolated country called “undesirable content”.
The vast majority of North Koreans have no access to outside Internet or foreign media, but people regularly share films, music and literature on easily-concealed USB sticks that are passed from person to person.
Hana Electronics, one of North Korea’s best-known and only electronics companies, is profiled in the latest edition of “Foreign Trade” magazine.
The company was established in May 2003 as a joint venture between the U.K.’s Phoenix Commercial Ventures and the trading department of North Korea’s Ministry of Culture.
It’s been making, or at least assembling, DVD and Video CD players for many years. The actual level of production that goes on at the factory is unknown. The only pictures that have been issued are of what appear to be quality control stations, where finished products are checked. It’s likely the company’s products or major components like circuit boards are made overseas and imported.
A Taiwanese businessman has been sentenced to 3 years probation and a $250 fine for his part in an attempt to export sanctioned equipment from the U.S. to North Korea.
Yueh Hsun “Gary” Tsai was sentenced on Friday at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago after pleading guilty to creating a fake bill of landing.
His sentencing came several weeks after this father, Hsien Tai “Alex” Tsai, was sentenced to two years for conspiring to defraud the U.S. in its enforcement of laws and regulations prohibiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. More >
A visit by Kim Jong Un to inspect KPA Air Force Unit 1016 has provided a closer look at a new solar power plant built alongside an existing wind power plant.
KCNA carried a handful of images of the visited, but more were broadcast by Korean Central TV during its evening news program. Here’s one of the KCNA images.
Will Scott, the American that spent a semester teaching computer science at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, spoke about his experiences this week at the Chaos Computer Club’s annual conference in Hamburg.
Scott, who has just returned from the second trip to PUST, went into detail on the IT environment at the university, availability of the Internet, access to computers and cell phones, and his observations on Red Star Desktop 3.0, the latest version of North Korea’s home-grown Linux operating system.
The operating system is being offered as a 2.6 gigabyte ISO file, which means it will look like a CD or DVD install disc to most modern operating systems. The operating system can be directly installed from the ISO file and requires about 10 gigabytes of disc space.
I installed mine inside a Virtual Machine — a piece of software that allows it to run inside a window as an application on my laptop — but it’s possible to also run it as the main operating system on a computer.
The installation process is relatively easy. I have most of the main screens below and those that aren’t shown can be clicked through.
The latest version of North Korea’s home-grown desktop operating system, Red Star Linux 3.0, was uploaded to BitTorrent on Monday.
A link to a download file was included in a message on Pastebin that was uploaded by someone who goes by the nicknames “slipstream” and “raylee,” that’s the same person who released the server version of Red Star Linux 3.0 earlier this year.
That previous release was a version for computer servers while this latest release is intended for use on conventional PCs.
I’ve posted an install guide and will have more on the applications in the coming days.
The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology turned out its first round of undergraduates last week, marking a significant achievement for North Korea’s first privately-funded university.
The 100 students received their Bachelors degrees in a ceremony in Pyongyang that was attended by the co-presidents of the university and members of the local diplomatic community.
After graduation, some of the students will stay on at PUST to pursue graduate degrees while some others will leave for other state universities in North Korea. PUST said it also actively sends students overseas to universities in Europe and Asia to pursue short- and long-term study.