- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kim Jong Un visited a North Korea factory on Saturday where the country’s first smartphone, the Arirang, is being developed.

The Arirang is being developed at the May 11 Factory in Pyongyang and appears to be an Android UI device, as developed by Google in California, Buzzfeed reported.

According to Korean media outlet KCNA, Kim Jong Un learned about the “performance, quality and packing” of the new phone.

“He said that a hand phone is convenient for its user when [the touch screen] of the phone is sensitive,” the report said.

This is the first time that the Kim regime has endorsed smartphones in North Korea. Previously, many residents owned Chinese flip or sliding phones, but not smartphones, Buzzfeed reported.

Kim Jong Un was particularly excited about the trademark “Arirang” inscribed on the phone, saying that the DPRK trademark can instill national pride.

“How nice to see hand phones being successfully produced with indigenous technology, he said, adding it is of educational significance in making people love Korean things,” the report said.

Buzzfeed points out that some of the parts of the smart phone may actually be manufactured in China. None of the photographs released show the phone being build or developed in the North Korean factory, it said.

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