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State media reports North Korea deploying facial recognition at international airport


According to North Korean propaganda site Maeari, Pyongyang International Airport will be under real-time surveillance with the installment of a facial recognition system at airport entrances, United Press International reports.

According to local media reports, North Korea claims the technology was domestically developed at Kim Il-sung University’s science research institute, and that the system can detect the age and gender of a person based on facial features.

“It only takes a second for the automatic face recognition system to identify the sex and age of a person,” Maeari reported, adding the technology is being used in North Korean state institutions, including hospitals, stores and other public places as the country steps up state monitoring of its population and visitors.

According to a study last year by researchers at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) North Korean companies have been selling fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, and other technology to businesses and governments around the world under cover of front companies, aliases, and freelancing websites.

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