UK & World News
North Korea 'Launches Own Smartphone'
North Korea is reported to be manufacturing its own smartphone, with leader Kim Jong-Un giving his seal of approval to the project.
The communist state's KCNA news agency showed Kim touring a "factory" and inspecting the phone, which it claims is produced using "indigenous technology".
The handset is named Arirang, after a famous North Korean folk song
Specifications of the handset are unknown but the young leader "noted that these hand phones will be very convenient for their users as their camera function has high pixels", reported KCNA.
The factory has "laid a solid foundation" for mass producing the phones, it said.
However, the actual manufacture of the smartphone is not shown in the pictures, leading some experts to dismiss the claims as another piece of North Korean propaganda.
China may in fact be manufacturing the Arirang before shipping it for final inspection, suggests specialist site North Korea Tech.
Access to the new technology is likely to be limited in the world's most secretive country where access to the internet is banned for the general population and many people are desperately poor.
The country does have a 3G mobile network but North Koreans are restricted to voice calls and cannot phone abroad or contact foreigners.
Even basic mobile phones are very expensive, with Chinese company Huawei currently suppling the market.
In January, Google chairman Eric Schmidt visited North Korea and urged its leadership to abandon its isolation and allow people access to the internet.