N. Korean computer appears to be assembled with parts from Taiwan, US

Water-cooled computer manufactured by North Korea’s Achim Computer (Foreign Trade of the DPR Korea screen capture)

North Korean tech company Achim Computer’s water-cooled computer appears to include parts made in Taiwan and the United States.

North Korea named Achim Computer one of the country’s 10 best IT companies last year.

In photos of Achim Computer’s sixth generation Core i5 and Core i3 water-cooled computers on the North Korean website “Foreign Trade of the DPR Korea,” the word “INWIN” is clearly written on the case.

INWIN is a global computer hardware manufacturer based in Taiwan and a leading maker of computer cases.

The Core i5 seems to use an INWIN 303 case. The position of the power button and logos appear the same, as do the number and kinds of sockets.

The case of the Core i3 appears to be fairly similar to the INWIN 805 TG3.0 Black. The position and number of sockets, the position of the cooling fan and layout of the power supply and storage devices are the same.

Achim Computer’s logo “Achim” has been placed on the front of both computers.

PC case by Taiwan’s INWIN (left), Achim Computer’s PC (right) (captures from INWIN and Foreign Trade of the DPR Korea websites)

Also noteworthy is that Core i3 uses the VS-450 power supply. The VS-450 is made by Corsair, a computer peripheral and hardware company based in Fremont, California.

The “Core i3” and “Core i5” in the names of the computers point to CPUs by US company Intel, too. The desktop Core i3 used an Intel Core i3-6100 3.4㎓ CPU, while the CPU of the water-cooled Core i5 is not specified.

Achim Computer is reportedly a joint venture with China’s Panda Electronics, an electronics manufacturer based in Nanjing. As the Chinese side apparently supplies the necessary parts while the North Korean side assembles and sells the products, it is possible that the parts mentioned on the website were provided by the Chinese side.

PC case by Taiwan’s INWIN (left), Achim Computer’s PC (right) (captures from INWIN and Foreign Trade of the DPR Korea websites)

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2397, adopted in December of 2017, bans the export of industrial metals, machinery and electrical equipment to North Korea.

Despite international sanctions, North Korea appears to be importing overseas parts to use in the manufacture of electronic devices.

Since North Korea did not say when it posted the products on the website, whether these represent the company’s latest items remains unknown. However, considering that the computers use sixth-generation Intel Core I series CPUs released in 2015 and power supplies released in 2014, they do not appear to be the latest items.

It is also possible that with North Korea unable to import the latest computer parts due to international sanctions, the country is assembling computers from old parts for domestic sales.

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to [email protected]

Read in Korean