Kim Jong Il Bowls for Murdoch's Dollars With Korean Video Games

Kim Jong Il Bowls for Murdoch's Dollars With Korean Video Games
Kim Jong Il Bowls for Murdoch's Dollars With Korean Video Games

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By Matthew Campbell and Bomi Lim
Sept 6, 2010

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has found an unlikely ally to help raise 
cash for his impoverished regime: The Dude, the pot-smoking 
underachiever played by Jeff Bridges in the movie "The Big Lebowski."

Programmers from North Korea=E2=80=99s General Federation of Science and 
Technology developed a 2007 mobile-phone bowling game based on the 1998 
film, as well as "Men in Black: Alien Assault," according to two 
executives at Nosotek Joint Venture Company, which markets software from 
North Korea for foreign clients. Both games were published by a unit of 
News Corp., the New York-based media company, a spokeswoman for the unit 

They represent a growing software industry championed by Kim that is 
boosting the economy of one of the poorest countries in the world and 
raising the technological skills of workers. Contracting with North 
Korean companies is legal under United Nations sanctions unless they are 
linked to the arms trade.

"From the government=E2=80=99s point of view, foreign currency is the main 
reason to nurture and support these activities," said Andrei Lankov, an 
academic specializing in North Korea at Seoul- based Kookmin University. 
"These activities help to fund the regime, but at the same time they 
bring knowledge of the outside world to people who could effect change."


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