While the North Korean government continues to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on powerful weapons and rocket launches, the regime seems to have a little to spend on PR. The reclusive totalitarian regime has recently redesigned its official state Web site, investing only $15 (yes fifteen dollars) on the new redesign.
The regime bought a new theme designed by Robert Westmore (an American) who designs website themes and sells them on the ThemesForest portal. The theme which Robert posted on ThemeForest.com is now North Korea’s website homepage.
“I had no idea,” Westmore told FoxNews. “Honestly, I didn’t even know North Korea had a website.”
The redesigned North Korea state website with the new $15 redesign korea-dpr.com, was accidentally discovered by a college student, according to Wired reports. Michael DiTanna, a undergraduate student at Fordham University was working on a class project about Korean propaganda.
He noticed the country’s flash-heavy website, which he believes was just redesigned recently. Since he is a student in computer science, he quickly searched and realised that the regime used Westmore’s $15 template.
“Right away I saw that the site was produced through a purchased theme,” DiTanna told Fox News. “They just did a really sloppy job of cleaning up the source code.”
The web site has been the official image of North Korea since 2000. It was created “for the people outside DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea], to have basic information and a direct connection point with the country,” said Cho Son-il, a.k.a. Alejandro Cao de benos de Les Perez who is an honorary citizen. He is also the first and only foreigner to ever work for the North Korean regime. He is an authorized North Korean spokesman and also built the web site.
Official statistics from the regime claims that they get an average of 12 million hits per month.
On the use of his theme by the reclusive regime, Westmore told Fox News
“As a web designer I’m always happy to see my work getting utilized. Especially when it’s on a high-profile website.”