Kim Jong-Un and the mystery smartphone

2013-02-05 11:02
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un attending a consultative meeting of officials in the fields of state security and foreign affairs at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (KCNA via KNS/ AFP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un attending a consultative meeting of officials in the fields of state security and foreign affairs at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (KCNA via KNS/ AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Seoul - A picture of North Korea's Kim Jong-Un with a smartphone has triggered fevered speculation about which brand is favoured by the leader of one of the world's most repressive nations.

The photo released by the North's state media showed Kim presiding over a meeting with top national security advisers last week - a meeting believed to have been focused on Pyongyang's threat to conduct an imminent nuclear test.

It also showed a black smartphone on the table next to Kim's arm - as well as a lit cigarette in his hand.

"It's believed that the smartphone belonged to Kim given that the device was placed right next to the documents he was looking at," a Seoul government official said.

The South Korean media gave the picture prominent coverage, opening a debate over the manufacturer, with speculation ranging between South Korea's own Samsung, Taiwan's HTC and iPhone maker Apple.

Samsung, the world's top smartphone maker, was adamant that one of its flagship Galaxy models had not turned up across the border.

HTC appreciates support


"It's not a Samsung phone," a company spokesperson said, adding that it looked more like an HTC model.

The Seoul government official said the picture had been analysed by the South's intelligence agency which also concluded that the Taiwanese firm was the likely manufacturer.

HTC declined to identify the device but said in a statement that the company appreciated the "support of all users".

While North Koreans live in probably the most isolated and censored society on the planet, the country is not a complete IT desert.

Mobile phones were introduced in 2008 through a joint venture with the Egyptian telecom firm Orascom, and a domestic intranet was launched in 2002.

But the one million normal cellphone subscribers can only phone each other, not outside the country, and the intranet is similarly cut off from the rest of the worldwide web.

"Kim and his family members as well as the North's political elite appear to use smartphones or other mobile phones capable of accessing the internet," said the Seoul official.

Kim, believed to be in his late 20s, took over the country after the death of his father Kim Jong-Il in December 2011, completing a second dynastic succession of the Kim family.

Read more on:    kim jong-un  |  north korea  |  cellphones
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Keep it together Text. Email. Social. With all the different ways to...

From R2499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.