North Korea Uses $15 USA Design Template for Official Website
North Korea is notoriously know for its totalitarian government and recently spent hundreds of millions dollars on a failed military rocket launch that humiliated the country. Among its huge budget for the rocket operation, the country spent a humble $15 for its national website.
The web design was unexpectedly purchased from an American web designer, Robert Westmore. Westmore's work must have struck a liking with the North Korean regime as his design template was picked up for the country's official homepage.
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"I had no idea," said Westmore in an interview with FoxNews. "Honestly, I didn't even know North Korea had a website."
"As a web designer I'm always happy to see my work getting utilized," added Westmore. "Especially when it's on a high-profile website."
The discovery was first made by a Fordham University computer science student Michael DiTanna. DiTanna's school project, which focused on North Korea propaganda, stumbled upon the website and based off of the source code, easily identified that it was off a purchased template.
"Right away I saw that the site was produced through a purchased theme," DiTanna told FoxNews.com. "They just did a really sloppy job of cleaning up the source code."
According to North Korea's spokesman, Chon Son-il, he helped launch and market the website back in the year 2000. Working with a $100 budget, his goal was to optimize for online visibility through search ranks.
"In the year 2000, there was not a single site about the DPRK with information from the DPRK. The first sites given by a Yahoo search were the CIA Factbook or the South Korean government," Son-il told FoxNews.com. "But now we are positioned among the first in most search engines even though our initial budget was just 80 euros per month...[F]or the people outside DPRK, to have basic information and a direct connection point with the country," Son-il said.