Technology

Apple's Mac OSX imitated in latest North Korea system

Red Star OS screenshot
Image caption The latest version of Red Star OS
Mac OS screenshot
Image caption Look familiar? What Apple's Mac OSX platform, used by millions around the world, looks like

North Korea has upgraded the operating system used in the country - and it bears a striking resemblance to Apple's Mac OSX platform.

Red Star OS is the country's "home-grown" software that is installed on computers found mostly in libraries and schools.

It previously had a look that closely mimicked Microsoft's Windows system.

Screenshots were obtained by American computer scientist Will Scott and published on the NorthKoreaTech blog.

Despite living in a country very much shut off from the outside world, many people in North Korea do have access to technology - including mobile phones.

However, devices are heavily restricted. Internet access, for instance, is locked down, with most users able to visit only a handful of sites mostly serving up state-sponsored news.

Year 103

The Linux-based Red Star OS is peppered with North Korean propaganda, and its calendar tells users it is not 2014, but 103 - the number of years since the birth of former North Korean leader Kim Il-sung.

An earlier version of Red Star OS was made available worldwide in 2010 after a Russian student posted it online.

The latest version is believed to have been released some time in 2013.

Image caption Another screenshot shows a background selecting screen that will be familiar to Mac users

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been keen to demonstrate his country's technological abilities since coming to power in December 2011.

In August 2013, he visited a factory that was said to have been manufacturing the country's first smartphone.

Industry experts, however, were unconvinced - most agreed that it was more likely to have been made in China.

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