North Korea is reportedly set to begin production of its first domestic mobile phone, although some observers have questioned the provenance of the devices, which carry the “Arirang” tag.
According to website North Korea Tech, the devices may be made to order in China, before being shipped to North Korea, inspected, and put on sale.
Other sources have noted that official photographs show workers with finished phones, inspecting, testing and packaging, but no assembly line.
The Korea Central News Agency said that the device includes software which “provides the best convenience to the users while strictly guaranteeing security”.
It was also suggested that by providing consumers with an officially-sanctioned device, the North Korean authorities will be able to better control what users can do.
According to GSMA Intelligence figures, operator Koryolink has 2.2 million subscribers.
However, restrictions are placed on its use, for example with international calls limited and internet access tightly controlled.