Friday, January 25, 2013

Windows is not a "Luxury Good" nor "supports the Government" in North Korea

"Facilitating North Korean procurement of luxury goods, or engaging in illicit activities that involve or support the Government of North Korea" These are the words of the Department of the Treasury's overview of sanctions against the government of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, meaning in short that any goods that are deemed luxury goods, or any goods that support the North Korean government are banned from export to them. So, of course when North Korea released the photos of the control room for the satellite launch last month, it came as a surprise to see the desktop background of Windows peeking out from behind a window on one of the computer screens! As you can see in these photos,released by North Korea's government, the computer in the right bottom corner has the familiar green field and blue sky desktop background of windows. Windows, as any computer system, is both a luxury good - and by the looks of it is supporting the North Korean government. Perhaps it is slips like this that leads North Korea to disregard the sanctions we place against them.

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