What has Apple done for North Korea in recent memory? The iPhone and iPad don’t yet exist within the borders of the isolated country, but while its people might not know it, they owe a lot to Cupertino for another one of its iconic products.

These are pictures of the “Red Star OS” which is featured prominently on computers throughout the country. If is looks a little too familiar for your liking, then I’ll just go ahead and say yes, it is ripped straight from Mac OS X. The expanding dock buttons, the gray border layout, the menu bar scrolled across the top, and even the multicolored close and shrink buttons are all direct copies.

Everything is a blatant carbon copy except for the Apple logo in the top left corner, which has been replaced by a red star. That’s not fooling anybody, North Korea! Well, maybe the 25 million inhabitants within the country, but that’s besides the point!

The photographs come from computer scientist Will Scott after he bought a computer while teaching as a visiting professor at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. He reports that, to run the OS, all you need is a Pentium III processor capable of running at 800MHz, 256 MB of RAM and 3 GB of hard drive space. We aren’t exactly looking for a machine that can run Crysis 3 here.

The OS even has access to the Internet through a Mozilla-based browser called “Naenara,” or “My Country” in English. I wonder how many people actually use it though living in a country that restricts and monitors the Internet so strictly. I’d be afraid to touch it.

How long do you think before Apple files a patent lawsuit?