Samjiyon tablet has been made by technicians in North Korea (
Samjiyon tablet has been made by technicians in North Korea (Northkoreatech)

From deep inside the Hermit Kingdom comes the latest in consumer electronics with a North Korean twist - a tablet computer with no internet connection.

Blocking the worldwide web is in line with government policy inside the communist country but this is quite an omission for a product designed for today's hyper-connected world.

Nonetheless, the Samjiyon has won praise from users who described it as "surprisingly impressive", according to one tourist on

The seven-inch device even comes equipped with a version of the Angry Birds game - a modern symbol of decadent Western consumerism if ever there was one.

So you might think the regime would be keen to show off its new device and score points against its irreconcilable enemies in the South. An example of North Korean engineering at its finest could help turn around the country's blighted image.

But such thinking would be a mistake. It seems the device is either shrouded in secrecy or in seriously short supply. IBTimes UK learned this when we contacted the North Korean embassy in a bid to get our hands on a copy of the shiny new Samjiyon.

A helpful party member at the embassy in London said: "Unfortunately I have not heard anything about it. So we are not in a position to comment about it."

An offer by us to email some articles about the Samjiyon to help enquiries was met with frosty rejection. Instead, the official browsed the official website of his regime, but drew a blank there too.

What he could say is that Samjiyon is a place which features the highest mountain in the kingdom and is located near China. This would strengthen reports that the device is manufactured in China by North Korea's closest ally.

More than that, he could not say - and then abruptly ended the conversation.

According to web reviews of the device, very limited remote access to online material is available via an app. This is accessed by pressing a button of Planet Earth beribboned by the North Korean colours of red and blue. Of course, what users get is distilled government propaganda from the regime.

There is also access to something called the Grand People's Study House - should yet more tutelage be required in the principles of the socialist republic and the teachings of founder Kim Il-sung - the country's "eternal president".

You can also watch North Korean television.

Powering the whole thing is a pacy 1.2Ghz processer, which puts it ahead of some Western tablets in the speed stakes. Despite this, the new product is unlikely to have the likes of electronics giant Apple shaking in its boots at this unlikely competitor to its iPad Air.

One major reason is distribution. Isolated North Korea has precious few trade relations with the outside world. A reporter at the South China Morning Post got a copy and carried it out of the country with no problem, but the member of the regime in London with whom we spoke did not know it even existed.

What is known about the Samjiyon is that it is hard to find and costs around £155 each. The price tag means it can probably be afforded in North Korea only by senior party members. The officials manning the British embassy are surely trusted revolutionaries, yet even they were in the dark - like many cities in their country.

They could be missing out.