I can only assume that for the past few years North Koreans have heard rumours about Netflix and desperately wanted their own version of the platform. Now, their prayers have been answered as the country has launched a similar service and decided to call it ‘Manbang’. That’s right, ‘Manbang’.
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‘Manbang’ will provided North Koreans with live television streaming, as well as articles from the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper and the Korean Central News Agency. So basically it just sounds like another way for the state to control its population, albeit with a much catchier name than we’re used to. Here’s a clip of a promo video that North Korea have allowed the rest of the world to see to prove that they can devise their own version of Netflix. Great:
Admittedly, Manbang does translate to ‘Everywhere’ in Korean so it does kind of make sense that the service would be called this, but obviously it’s really funny for everyone in the western world that it has such a stupid name from our perspective. The service isn’t even that universal either despite its name, with only five channels available and all of them featuring government approved news and education problems. Again, its just state control with a catchier name.
You also have to consider the fact that very few homes in North Korea are even connected to the internet – due to the fact that computers cost a bomb over there in comparison to the average wage – so the fact that it’s even been set up seems kind of pointless. Still, I suppose North Korea has to be seen to be keeping up with the Joneses of the Western World so it was inevitable that something like this would appear sooner rather than later. It’s just rather typical of North Korea in general that it’s a steaming pile of shit that it doesn’t even really make sense for it to have created as it’s useless and hardly anyone can use it.
Did you hear they had also been feeding their workers crystal meth to help them improve performance? Nutters.