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There’s a report this morning that North Korea is building its own computers.It’s not.
How do we know?
Because—get this—totalitarian regimes lie.
According to PC World, whence the story first came, the “report” was on North Korean TV’s 8pm evening news and showed a “factory” with 8 workers assembling computers, which “will be” for office and home use.
The author of the report notes elsewhere that those computers look suspiciously similar to other computers produced elsewhere.
Don’t get us wrong: it’s perfectly possible that North Korea is buying a few dozen netbooks from China, swapping out the logos and handing them out. It may even be possible (though highly unlikely) that some assembly is taking place in North Korea.
But the reason we know the report is false is the same reason we know other reports from North Korean media are false: because they’re all false. There are zillions of pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il visiting well-stocked shops with food and daily necessities. And these pictures are lies. Because North Korea is a totalitarian Communist regime that lies to its own citizens and the outside world, because that’s what it is based on.
Everything that the outside world knows about North Korea highlights the fact that North Korea lies to its own citizens about everything, all the time.
We are so used to living in free countries with free media that we think authoritarian countries’ state media is enhanced or partial or censored, but we don’t realise that totalitarian countries have media that is totally made up out of whole cloth. And yet it is.
Nobody inside North Korea believed that report. It would be a shame if anyone outside North Korea did.
Also, there is no Santa Claus.