'

North and South Korea unite over Linux

Despite long-term political tension, the two countries are to jointly develop a version of Linux, with a bit of help from the Chinese

Bitter political foes South and North Korea are to jointly develop a version of Linux.

The new project, tentatively named "Hana Linux", was announced at the ICMIP 2007 event in Yenji, China, this week and will be developed jointly by both Koreas and China, according to a report from ETNews, the website of daily Korean technology newspaper The Electronic Times. A Linux event in Pyongyang, North Korea, in the early part of 2008 will report on progress.

As well as a new, unified Linux, the two Koreas will also co-operate on office software in the Korean language. They also promised to work to iron out differences in IT terminology between South and North Koreans and Korean Chinese.

The idea was suggested by Hee-tak Moon of the Korea Open Source Software Association (Kossa) in South Korea, and approved by the heads of the three IT bodies — the Reunification IT Forum in South Korea, North Korea's Chosun People's Science Technology Association, and the Chinese Information Society — who were joint hosts of ICMIP 2007.

Training centres for Linux professionals will be developed at Yenben and Dandung in China, and at Pyongyang, Kaesong and Hoichun in North Korea, ETNews reported.

South Korea has also rolled out Linux in Seoul schools, announced plans for a "Linux showcase city" last year, and promised (in 2003) to move 30 percent of government servers to Linux by this year.