Scenes from Kim Jong-un’s visit to North Korea’s first “hand-phone” manufacturing plant

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North Korea’s baby-faced supreme leader Kim Jong-un unveiled what is purported to be the Hermit Kingdom’s first domestically manufactured smartphone this weekend via a dispatch and several photographs from the state KCNA news agency.

The Arirang is a conventional-looking Android handset; details are scant but KCNA quoted Kim as praising workers “for developing an application program in Korean style which provides the best convenience to the users while strictly guaranteeing security.” After inspecting the phone’s touch screen “he said that a hand phone is convenient for its user when that part of the phone is sensitive,” and he “noted that these hand phones will be very convenient for their users as their camera function has high pixels.”

The website North Korea Tech reported that despite North Korea’s claims the Arirang is most likely made in China. North Korea’s technology sector is woefully underdeveloped compared to neighbors like China, Japan and South Korea, though it does have two million mobile subscribers through its lone mobile operator, Koryolink.

While no one aside from perhaps the NSA knows exactly what went on inside the May 11 factory where the Arirang handsets are “manufactured,” Quartz has made some educated guesses about Kim’s utterances, based on his frequent visits to inspect things.

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“Next let’s build a phablet, about yay big.” (Reuters / KCNA)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visits the May 11 Factory in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang August 11, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TELECOMS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTX12GZM
“Hang on a sec, there’s a rumor going around about me on Twitter and I should read it right away.” (Reuters / KCNA)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visits the May 11 Factory in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang August 11, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TELECOMS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTX12GZK
“Guys! I’ve got it! A high-five app!” (Reuters / KCNA)
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