A North Korean news channel has been spotted using a wallpaper from Mac OS X as its backdrop, despite a ban on the U.S. export of Apple goods to the country. NKNews.org spotted a posting on a South Korean forum that first identified the more-than-striking similarities between Uriminzokkiri's backdrop and the default wallpaper of 10.4 Tiger.
Uriminzokkiri, which NKNews claims roughly translates as "Our Nation By Itself," publishes its broadcasts through a YouTube channel. The outlet also maintains a Twitter feed. The background was in use in YouTube uploads as recent as October 3. The U.S. holds a complete embargo against North Korea, and Apple's website clearly states that exporting Apple software to the country without government authorization is strictly prohibited.
The background was the default wallpaper of Mac OS X 10.4. Variations of it has been employed since version 10.0, but with the 2007 release of version 10.5, Apple moved towards a galaxy motif, replacing the blue background with a stylized image of the stars. The background in question has therefore not been standard on Apple computers for eight years.
It's not the first time that a North Korean organization has taken inspiration from Cupertino. When Red Star 3.0, the country's locally-developed operating system, leaked online, it soon became apparent that the system bore more than a passing resemblance to OS X.
Several features, including the Finder, the menu bar, System Preferences and the dock, all looked near-identical to Apple's offering. This love affair with Apple does not seem to stretch to the system's built-in browser, however. Naenara Browser was noted by WhiteHat Security as being derived from an older version of Firefox, keeping the same look-and-feel rather than skinning the interface to look like Safari.