North Korea is bringing its political indoctrination tactics to the digital age. The self-proclaimed republic is developing software designed to teach ideology to party members and workers, North Korean party daily Rodong Sinmun reports.
Dubbed Chongseo 1.0, the software is practically an encyclopedia-like ebook packed with writings by North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il, who also ruled the country between 1994 and 2011. The software is available for multiple operating systems, including Windows and North Korea’s own Linux-based Red Star.
North Korea is looking to distribute the digital book nationwide. There are also plans to develop a new and improved version – Chongseo 2.0 – that’ll come with features like voice reading.
The initiative seems to be a part of a wider effort to counter the penetration of foreign influences through the proliferation of technology, BBC notes. Although North Korea runs its own state-sanctioned intranet, the authorities have recently struggled to curb the spread of foreign news through portable devices like USBs.
Estimates suggest there are about six million smartphones in circulation in the country, which boasts a population of 25 million people.
Still, there are purportedly only about 7,000 web users in North Korea. With that in mind, it’s not all that surprising that reports from 2016 suggested there were only 28 sites using North Korea’s .KP top level domain, the majority of which were inactive.