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United States Games News Politics

Rupert Murdoch Publishes North Korean Flash Games 186

eldavojohn writes "You might recall back in June when it was noted that North Korea was developing and exporting flash games. Now, the isolated nation state is apparently home to some game developers that are being published by a subsidiary of News Corp. (The games include Big Lebowski Bowling and Men In Black). Nosotek Joint Venture Company is treading on thin ice in the eyes of a few academics and specialists that claim the Fox News owner is 'working against US policy.' Concerns grow over the potential influx of cash, creating better programmers that are then leveraged into cyberwarfare capabilities. Nosotek said that 'training them to do games can't bring any harm.' The company asserts its innocence, though details on how much of the games were developed in North Korea are sparse. While one of the poorest nations in the world could clearly use the money, it remains to be seen if hardliner opponents like the United States will treat Nosotek (and parent company News Corp.) as if they're fostering the development of computer programmers inside the DPRK. The United Nations only stipulates that cash exchanged with companies in the DPRK cannot go to companies and businesses associated with military weaponry or the arms trade. Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?"
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Rupert Murdoch Publishes North Korean Flash Games

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  • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:00AM (#33506900)
    Doubt it. There's actually a huge amount of legal trade going across the border. There's a DMZ, but there's buttloads of trucks going back and forth over it every day.
  • by My Iron Lung ( 834019 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:06AM (#33506924)
    I run a bit of a North Korean news aggregation and info site. I posted a few weeks ago about a state-run newspaper site,, that hosts a number of North Korean made flash games you can play in your browser. Some of them are actually pretty fun! Links to the games, writeup and game descriptions can be found here: [] The best part is, none of the corporate web blocking apps out there are restricting a North Korean website! :)
  • Re:Good for everyone (Score:3, Informative)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:07AM (#33506928)
    You'd just be encouraging them. The problem isn't that we're not trading with them. The problem is that somebody is providing Kim Jong Il with the luxury goods he desires. Buying these games is just a matter of profiteering plain and simple, the money is not going to get back to the people nor is this going to decrease the isolation of the North Korean people. It's just another way in which Rupert Murdoch profits on the suffering of others.
  • sounds like murdoch (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:09AM (#33506936)
    As is always the case with Rupert Murdoch, why be content just riling up people on one side of a conflict when you can just as easily be profiting from both side? He does this time and time again, yet people always seem surprised when he does it.
  • by Froomb ( 100183 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:26AM (#33506990)

    Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?"

    How would you feel about Pocqhontas and the Lion King? In some fields [], North Korea has surprising expertise.

  • Re:Good for everyone (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vintermann ( 400722 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @08:10AM (#33507152) Homepage

    Good luck in North Korea. Remember that you will be allowed to see will be strictly limited, and the North Korean government is well known to go to unusual lengths [] to present a good image outwards.

  • Re:No suprise here (Score:3, Informative)

    by dakameleon ( 1126377 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @08:18AM (#33507188)

    Murdoch became a naturalised US citizen on 4 September 1985, before he bought the Fox predecessor in December of that year. So not by much, but still legal.

    (and this is one instance where the no-newspaper-and-tv-network-in-one-market rule here in Aussieland works pretty well)

  • by julesh ( 229690 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @08:40AM (#33507302)

    Is it currently illegal for a US company to trade with North Korea?

    Irrelevant. News Corp is not a US company; it is incorporated in Australia.

    Is it illegal for a multi-national which does business in the US to do so?

    AIUI, such a company only submits to US jurisdiction for business activities that occur within the US, so I would guess not.

  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @09:25AM (#33507604) Homepage Journal

    There were three Democrats on the FCC, Reed Hundt (chairman), James Quello, and Susan Ness. The two Republicans were Andrew Barrret and Rachelle Chong. So blaming Republicans for change in ownership rules is pretty silly, typical though. It seems that too many rely on ignorance to allow their views to be supported. After all, we know the Republicans had control of Congress then, but the fact remains, they did not have a majority on the FCC.

    So if you want to blame Fox's ascendancy on anyone, put the blame on the party who held control over the governing organization that permitted the change.

  • Re:Would I buy? (Score:3, Informative)

    by M. Baranczak ( 726671 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @09:50AM (#33507854)

    how do I know if something has been programmed in, made in, assembled in, or had any other part of its production process in North Korea

    In this specific case, you do know, so I don't see what your point is.

    If it is produced in North Korea, how do I *KNOW* what the funds it generates are used to support?

    If it's produced in North Korea, then it's a pretty safe bet that the money is used to support the North Korean government. Otherwise, the government would have never agreed to export it.

  • Re:Would I buy? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @10:38AM (#33508262)

    And I take offence at the tone of the submission. Trying to make me feel guilty by association is almost entirely racism.

    Racism? Really?

    Probably a quarter of the electronics in my house are Korean. My washing machine is, the optical drives in my computers are, the stereo amp is... the list goes on. I don't think twice about buying Korean goods.

    South Korean goods. Never North.

    Is that racist? Against whom, exactly? 'North Korean' isn't a race, it's a political demarcation. I'm not aware of any major genetic differences between the two Koreas having developed since the armistice, and last time I checked, a fundamental belief in genetic inferiority was the very definition of racism.

    I won't buy this game, period. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Hyundai if it looked like the best car for me.

    Precisely whom am I being racist against?

  • Re:Calling BS (Score:3, Informative)

    by sourcerror ( 1718066 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:17AM (#33508792)

    When the youth has risen in 1956, Hungary still had a ham fisted dictator (Rákosi and co.).
    The Tianmen square thing was organized by students, who had lived abroad long enough to just forget where the invisible boundaries are.

    Look, Hungary was governed in the last 8 years by the same people who cracked down the 1956 revolution. (And they were elected democraticly.)

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. -- John Kenneth Galbraith