Tongues wag over Kim smartphone

AFP-JIJI

A picture of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un with a smartphone has triggered fevered speculation about which brand is favored by the leader of one of the world’s most repressive nations.

The photo released by the North’s state media showed Kim presiding over a meeting with top national security advisers last week — a meeting believed to have been focused on Pyongyang’s threat to conduct an imminent nuclear test.

It also showed a black smartphone on the table next to Kim’s arm — as well as a lit cigarette in his hand. “It’s believed that the smartphone belonged to Kim given that the device was placed right next to the documents he was looking at,” a Seoul official said.

The South Korean media gave the picture prominent coverage, opening a debate over the manufacturer, with speculation raging over whether Kim had opted to endorse South Korea’s own Samsung, Taiwan’s HTC or iPhone maker Apple.