North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un hates freedom, loves his Macs

Walled gardens abound in North Korea.

mac korea
Credit: North Korean Central News Agency via Chosun

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un isn’t exactly known for encouraging personal choice and freedom. “North Korea remains among the world’s most repressive countries,”  Human Rights Watch says, counting al the ways: There’s no independent media or religious freedom. Dissidents are thrown into what HRW calls “secretive prison camps.” Red Star OS, the country’s homebrew Linux operating system, is rife with surveillance tools and preventative measures to thwart users who'd dare tinker with the system beyond what’s officially allowed.

You could say Kim Jong-un’s used his iron fist to cultivate his nation into a real-life walled garden. So of course he uses Macs, as Kotaku first pointed out.

Reuters’ Korean correspondent James Pearson tweeted this picture of the “Supreme Leader” with his MacBook Pro just yesterday. The image at the top of this page, from the North Korean Central News Agency (via South Korean paper Chosun), shows an iMac close at hand while Kim Jong-un receives a briefing from senior military officers.

North Korea’s tyrant definitely Thinks Different. But don’t say he isn’t generous: As PCWorld’s look at Red Star OS shows, design elements from the Supreme Leader’s operating system of choice—OS X—is trickling down into the PCs deemed worthy of the masses.

red star os browser Will Scott

Red Star OS’s Naenara browser.

This story, "North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un hates freedom, loves his Macs" was originally published by PCWorld.

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