North Korea Monitor

Linux and Korean Reunification

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Guardian Unlimited has the scoop on efforts to develop a North/South operating system known as Hana Linux, based on the free operating system that is its namesake. The South also has plans to set up Linux training centers in the North. The deal to develop the joint operating system came out of the recent Inter-Korean Summit. According to the article, Korea is already one of the world’s biggest users of Linux software. In fact, says the article, the South Korean government has agreed to switch all of it’s government offices over to Linux. On the benefits of this project, the Gaurdian quotes Moon Hwi Tak, whose company Gongae Software is the  impetus for this project:

“Linux is widely used all over the world, and different countries, different companies have all added different functions and tools to suit their needs. If companies in Korea all use their own versions, it will waste time and money and cause confusion. A unified version will solve a lot of potential problems.”

Moon adds: “Political cooperation is already under way, and this is going to benefit IT development in a big way for the North and the South. Sharing technological knowhow and manpower will help us become more competitive in the international IT market.”

The article does point out that a joint operating system isn’t “going to magically lead to reunification.” The article quotes Hong Young Jun, a Ph.D. Student at KAIST University on the downsides:

“Hana Linux doesn’t have a future,” she says. “Trying to bind North Korea to one operating system will not work if the country opens up. Once they see other operating systems available, they will look elsewhere.”
Hong agrees. “One thing we can be sure of is that the North has no intention of being bossed about by the South when it comes to IT – or anything else.”


Written by nkmonitor

January 17, 2008 at 2:11 am

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