Tuesday, November 2, 2010

North Korea emerges as animation producer

North Korea’s information technology (IT) industry, in particular in the field of computer-based animation production, is well on its way to achieve success, according to a Dutch outsourcing specialist currently conducting IT business with North Korean companies.

The ceremony was planned by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, a German organization. “Pororo the Little Penguin,” an animated cartoon series, was an inter-Korean project finished in 2002. Also the same year, Akom, a South Korean company, also outsourced the production of “Empress Chung” to North Korea. The animation was released in 2005.

Tjia stated that some of the American Walt Disney animations were created by North Koreans, merely by accident. Politically North Korea and America have a barbed relationship and the American government prohibits the private sector from doing business with North Korean companies.

“There was a time when Walt Disney outsourced their animation production to countries in Asia like Vietnam or the Philippines. But the company didn’t have whole control over exactly which country the work was shaped, and found out later that some was produced in North Korea,” he said, adding that this was discovered after the animations had aired on TV.

An official at the Seoul Animation Center confirmed some of what the Dutchman said, confirming that Walt Disney’s outsourcing to Asia was true, and that’s accurately how South Korea’s animation industry took off. The news of a burgeoning animation industry in North Korea comes as a revelation to many who are used to hearing mainly about food shortage, human rights violations and the regime’s nuclear ambitions.


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