About the Author
Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
The Arirang Information Technology Company recently launched a smartphone featuring fingerprint authentication technology, North Korea’s state-run outlet DPRK Today reported on Saturday.
“The mobile phone ‘Arirang 161,’ which was recently released by Arirang Information Technology Company, has been earning favorable reviews from people,” the report said.
“The feature of scanning fingerprint is newly added and it can recognize up to five fingers.”
A photo released by the DPRK Today suggests that the fingerprint scanner is located on the back side of the mobile phone – much like Samsung’s Galaxy S8. Apple’s iPhone has integrated the scanner into the home button.
A “voguish and sophisticated fingerprint mobile phone,” the phone’s advertisement reads, the size of the screen is 4.7 inches (the same as the iPhone 6), and it is equipped with 32GB memory card.
“‘Arirang 161’ (gold, black) is not only appealing and sophisticated in appearance, but also the curved back makes it very convenient to hold in hand and it is also thin and light in weight,” the report said, suggesting that the phone comes in two colors.
“This handphone has various accessories such as a portable battery,” the media added. The poster also showed that earphones, a USB cable, and a power adapter are also provided.
In August 2013, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) covered a visit by Kim Jong Un to a factory where the smartphone was being manufactured.
During the visit, the leader praised the workers for “developing application programs in the Korean style which provides the best convenience to the users,” and hailed the phone’s touchscreen and a high-definition camera.
North Korean companies appear to be taking inspiration from foreign companies as domestic demand for technology has grown.
In June, DPRK Today reported that the Mangyongdae Information Technology Corporation had released the new “Jindallae 3” smartphone, which was visually similar to the Apple iPhone.
The outlet also reported on Tuesday that the Rakwon Information Technology Company had launched a new digital LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TV.
“The ‘Rakwon’ has a glass protective curved display with a thin thickness of 1.5 cm and therefore it’s an LCD TV based on ELED (Edge Emitting LED), in which new features are added including the Bluetooth function,” it reported.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: NK News