North Korea are leaders in absolutely no sector on Earth – unless you count imprisoning its own people as a sector.
That’s why it has to borrow stuff from other countries. Most recently, North Korea decided to borrow an operating system from one of the most valuable companies in the world: Apple.
That’s right: North Korean “made” its “very own” operating system. That OS looks like Mac OS X in every possible way but is called Red Star Linux Version 3.0. That’s right: this is the third version of North Korea’s flagship operating system.
One of the funniest parts about this story is that Red Star Linux Version 2.0 featured a distinctively Windows 7-like operating system. The first version of Red Star was released over a decade ago, while the second came out three years ago. Although Version 3 came out in the middle of last year, nobody really knew about it until recently.
Most North Koreans do not have internet access. They do, however, have access to an internal internet-like network – an intranet system.
This intranet, as you might expect, features lots of propaganda and official government websites and not a lot of fun stuff like YouTube or Twitter. Funnily enough, Red Star Linux Version 3.0 uses a lightly-modified version of Mozilla.
And by lightly modified, I mean that they basically just changed the name of Mozilla Firefox to Naenara, which is “My Country” in Korean. And yes, you can run Windows software on the operating system.
How did we find out about it?
North Korea opened something called the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), which is a foreign-funded university where professors come from overseas. One of those professors is Will Scott, a computer scientist, who discovered the strange operating system while working in the DPRK capital.
Scott claims he bought the operating system at a Korea Computer Center (KCC) dealer in Pyongyang. I’m sure Apple will be happy about this news because obviously, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.