Could Linux Help Bring Both Koreas Together? - InformationWeek

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11/30/2007
11:48 AM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
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Could Linux Help Bring Both Koreas Together?

People in South Korea speak of folks in North Korea more as lost brothers than bitter enemies. Over the years the two have made various rapprochements, but now it looks like North and South are teaming up on a whole new kind of joint project: a Korean-language Linux distribution.

People in South Korea speak of folks in North Korea more as lost brothers than bitter enemies. Over the years the two have made various rapprochements, but now it looks like North and South are teaming up on a whole new kind of joint project: a Korean-language Linux distribution.

According to an article in the English-language Korean publication ETNews:

South and North Korea team up to develop a version of 'Hana Linux (tentatively named)' and set standards. [...]

At the conference, IT experts from two Koreas agreed on the need for cooperation in the Linux sector and developing 'Hana Linux.' Besides, the two parties will pursue other projects such as Open Office, an internationally certified (CC) office suite, and developing Korean language [support] for excellent open software.

China has its own state-sponsored Linux distribution, Red Flag, but Hana looks like it's going to be a co-production between both Koreas.

I'm fascinated with the Far East in general -- something which started with curiosity about Japan and China, but over time Korea has come to engage a good deal of my attention, too. The possible reunification of the two countries has long been in the air, but it's always been a question of on whose terms and in what form, and an endless subject for the popular culture of both countries.

Maybe there will be no revolutionary disruption of things, but a gradual melting of the border, so to speak, with the North becoming a more open state over the course of a generation or so. And Linux/FOSS, with its propensity for crossing borders of all kinds, sounds like a great way to help make that happen.

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