Earlier this year North Korea attempted a rocket launch which they claimed was intended to launch a satellite in honor of the new leader Kim Jong-Un.  Many around the globe, however, condemned it as missile testing.

The launch failed, but more embarrassing was the footage released showing the control center, which revealed rows of what looked like computers straight out of a 1960’s sci-fi movie.

However, last week, the reportedly successful rocket launch also revealed a significant upgrade to the foundation of the technology driving North Korean space program’s.  In a video released to the media the control center could be seen using…Windows XP.

When the rocket had launched, North Korean media quickly claimed it a success.  The remaining media hubs of the world were skeptical since these were the same people who had also claimed unicorns were real a week earlier.

Eager to prove themselves, the government released new footage of the launch procedure, showing again the infamous control center.  Immediately we can see some upgrades.  The bulky CRT monitors were replaced by flat screens and the main screen had a slicker 24 kind of vibe going on.

But those who paid close attention could catch a key piece of intel from this video. When quickly panning the main screen at a few different moments, you could distinctly make out the control GUI of Windows Media Player.

Examining the embossing of the buttons leads many to speculate that the North Korean space program is running on Windows XP.  Another window on the right could be seen running Media Player in its “classic” skin.

Whether this was because of its less bulky memory footprint or intended to hide the true version of Windows is uncertain.  Some analysts feel that this could signify that North Korea is in possession of media players as advanced as VLC.

Many are confused as to why a major government organization would trust its data management to an OS widely used to play solitaire and read online horoscopes.  Generally, government agencies handling sensitive information develop their own unique OS for security and efficiency purposes.

Chuck from The PC Shack in the suburbs of Chicago disagrees:

“Ah yeah, the other day a bunch of guys from China or somethin’ barged into my shop and demanded the best operating system around. So I says [sic] you can’t beat Windows XP. My nephew Jimmy there [sic] got this program that sends music files directly to his classmates’ computers!

So they took a copy, paid using strange money with some guy wearing sunglasses, ya know, looking like an old Gangnam Style. Then they drove off in a hurry.”

When asked about possibly selling the North Korean Government the popular OS in violation of UN sanctions, Chuck said with a grin “Ah don’t worry I told them to only update to Service Pack 2… I never told them about SP3. They’re sittin’ ducks!”

Source: Byokan Sunday (Japanese)
Video: YouTube RussiaToday
Images tt.mop (Chinese)

The North Korean Launch footage: Media Player can be seen at about the 30 second mark.

Internet wags in China also had some fun with the Media Player discovery