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North Korea Has Its Own Netflix And It’s Called ‘Manbang’

[KNS/AFP/Getty Images]

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, more commonly known as North Korea, announced a new on-demand video streaming service Tuesday called “Manbang.”

Users in North Korea will have to install a box to use the service (much like Roku), which presumably will have limited viewing options, at least relative to the Western world. The new amenity is available through the only means allowed — the state-controlled television station called Korea Central Television (KCTV), NKNews reports.

A state broadcaster for KCTV showcased the technology for North Korea’s citizens. Pseudo-documentary films promoting North Korean leadership and ideals will be available, as well as English and Russian language-learning programs, according to NKNews.

This is likely a ploy to ostensibly show to other countries and its own citizens that it has viewable entertainment much like the rest of the world. North Korea is known for squelching access to the internet and veiling the general culture of the world outside of its borders.

Statistics provided by the World Bank and Netcraft show that as of 2015, North Korea has zero secure internet servers. The world average is 209 servers per million people and its neighbor, and perennial adversary South Korea has 2,320 for every million.

After the announcement, Netflix’s official Twitter account changed its bio to “Manbang knockoff.”

“Manbang” translates to “everything” or “every direction” in Korean.

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