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Kim Jong Un's tour of North Korean factory sparks big smartphone gossip

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's visit to a local high-tech manufacturing facility has sparked rumours of the country's first foray into the smartphone market.

As reported by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Jong Un toured the factory over the weekend, checking on the development of an Android-based smartphone known as the Arirang.

Specs were not divulged, except to say that the phone is touch-based and features a camera with "high pixels." The factory reportedly began production on the Arirang phone a few days ago.

Not everyone is convinced that the products were actually built in the country's factory, though.

North Korea Tech pointed to the lack of actual manufacturing shown in KCNA's photos, adding that the handsets were "probably made to order by a Chinese manufacturer and shipped to the May 11 Factory where they are inspected before going on sale."

North Korea isn't exactly known for its booming technology sector like neighbouring countries China, Japan, and South Korea.

The country's smartphone population is on the rise, though, reaching the two million mark this summer — nearly doubling the number of mobile subscribers in just 15 months.

Jong Un last visited the factory about two years ago, then accompanied by his father, Kim Jong Il, to tour a flat-screen LCD TV assembly line.

Image credit: Flickr (Pan-African News Wire File Photos)