HONG KONG (CNN) – North Korea has begun producing its own smartphones, the country’s state-run news agency KCNA has reported, even though most residents’ access to the Internet and telephone networks is severely limited.
Pictures of the smartphone emerged after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the factory where the devices are made.
Branded “Arirang” after a Korean folk song, the phones feature a touch screen and a “high pixel” camera.
Kim said it was “nice” to see phones being made with local technology, adding that the mass-production of goods with a North Korean trademark would instill national pride.
However, there was skepticism about North Korea’s ability to produce such technology.
Martyn Williams, the editor of the North Korea Tech website, said that the phones were probably made in China and shipped to the factory where they are inspected before going on sale.
“Workers are shown with finished products, inspecting them and testing them but no actual manufacturing is shown,” he said on the website.
The KCNA report said production began a “few days ago.”