US Animation Studios Unknowingly Entangled in North Korean Outsourcing Scandal

Several American Cartoon Shows Were Worked On By North Koreans

In a startling revelation, documents unearthed from a North Korean computer server suggest a clandestine collaboration between North Korean illustrators and US animation studios.

These files, discovered by US researchers, hint at the possibility that North Korean workers may have contributed to the production of unreleased episodes of popular American cartoons, casting a shadow over the integrity of the animation industry’s supply chain.

The trove of documents, found inside a server in North Korea, was stumbled upon by Nick Roy, a Boston-based cyber enthusiast who regularly monitors the North Korean internet.

Among the files were drawings resembling characters from well-known American shows like “Invincible” and “Iyanu: Child of Wonder.” The discovery suggests that animation work may have been unknowingly outsourced to North Korean workers, despite strict US sanctions prohibiting such collaborations.

Revealing the Unseen: North Korean Animation Outsourcing Exposed

Logs From The North Korean Computer Server Showed Multiple Visits From Internet Connections In Northeast China

The revelation has raised questions about the ability of US animation studios to monitor their supply chains effectively and avoid inadvertently violating sanctions against North Korea.

Logs from the North Korean server indicated connections from internet sources in northeast China, hinting at possible coordination between North Korean and Chinese workers in the animation projects.

While there is no evidence to suggest that the US studios were aware of the North Korean involvement, the discovery underscores the challenges of preventing illicit collaborations in a globalized industry.

It also provides a rare glimpse into the operations of graphic designers in one of the world’s most isolated countries.

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In response to the findings, Skybound Entertainment, the production company behind “Invincible,” stated that they do not contract with Chinese or North Korean companies and have initiated an investigation into the matter.

Similarly, Max, the streaming service airing “Iyanu: Child of Wonder,” declined to comment on the discovery.

A Sketch That Resembles Characters From “Iyanu: Child Of Wonder”

The incident highlights the broader issue of North Korea’s pursuit of revenue through various means, including the exploitation of its workforce for international projects.

As authorities grapple with the implications of this discovery, it serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by North Korea’s clandestine activities in the global arena.

Mousumi Routray is experienced content writer who helps businesses reach their audience through engaging content. She has written blog posts, articles, newsletters and more for companies in tech, entertainment and other industries.