BBC World Service still mulling North Korean service

The BBC World Service is still exploring ways to launch programming aimed at North Korea.

The broadcaster had previously said budget cuts are hampering efforts to get its news and information programming into the country, but a new report makes clear the country remains an expansion target.

The BBC's Future of News report mentions a possible service for North Korea. (Photo: North Korea Tech)

The BBC’s Future of News report mentions a possible service for North Korea. (Photo: North Korea Tech)

Any BBC Korean service would almost certainly have to rely on shortwave radio as Internet and satellite TV access is all but non-existent in the country. The only other option would be carriage of BBC content on North Korean state media, but that seems impossible given the strict state of censorship in the country.

Several broadcasters already target North Korea with news and information programming including South Korea’s KBS, the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. A handful of privately operated stations also exist.

The BBC would be the only broadcast aimed at North Korea to come from a country that has an embassy in Pyongyang. While the BBC is editorially and financially independent from the British government, it might make the embassy a target of any complaints from the North Korean government.

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