South Korea’s latest attempt to sway the minds of the North Korean people looks like a dud before it’s even begun.
This month, the South Korean military begins regular programming on a new shortwave radio station aimed at the DPRK, but the selection of frequency, low transmitter power and aggressive jamming means few if anyone in the DPRK can probably hear it.
Voice of Freedom began several years ago on FM along the border. The use of FM hobbled the station because the signals typically only travel a few tens of kilometers and are susceptible to being blocked by the many hills in the area.
A “hackathon” planned for August aims to harness the technical prowess of Silicon Valley in coming up with new ways to get information safely into North Korea.
“Hack North Korea” will take place in San Francisco and has been organized by The Human Rights Foundation, a New York-based group that earlier this year helped sent USB thumb drives loaded with Wikipedia across the inter-Korean border in balloons.
The event won’t be engaging in any computer hacking in the malicious sense. Rather, it will be hacking in the sense of coming up with new ways to “spark better ideas for getting information into the world’s most More >
The question of a BBC Korean-language service was back in the U.K. parliament last week when the House of Lords heard a motion to “take note of the role the BBC World Service and the British Council in promoting British values and interests worldwide.”
While the speeches in the House of Lords weren’t focused on Korea, a number spoke on the subject including Lord Eames, who was Archbishop of Armagh from 1986 until 2006. A year later in 2007, he led a delegation on a humanitarian visit to North Korea as one of the most senior members of the Anglican Church.
He related a conversation More >
South Korea has stepped up propaganda radio broadcasts targeted at North Korea and attracted a fast response from the country.
Voice of Freedom, one of three government-run radio stations that broadcasts to the north, launched a tentative shortwave service at the beginning of May, but the signal is already being aggressively blocked by the North Korean authorities.
The station is operated by South Korea’s Ministry of Defense and has been broadcasting towards North Korea for years. Programming was halted in 2004 after an inter-Korean friendship accord but was resumed in 2010, shortly after the South Korean Cheonan corvette was sunk with the loss of 46 More >
North Korea’s state-run news agency issued a sharp criticism over the weekend of U.S. funding of technology projects that attack censorship.
The commentary, published on Saturday, points to dissatisfaction among the North Korean elite with U.S. funding of projects that enable the free flow of information and bypass Internet censorship.
It comes as U.S. State Dept.’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) is evaluating proposals for its latest round of funding aimed at human rights and democracy in North Korea. The DRL is offering up to $350,000 to organizations for projects targeted at the DPRK.
North Korea maintains one of the most formidable state-sanctioned censorship regimes in the More >
Imports of digital TV sets to North Korea are sharply higher in the first few months of this year compared to last year, according to Yonhap News.
Citing data from the Korea International Trade Association, Yonhap said China shipped just under $18 million worth of digital TVs to North Korea in the first four months of 2014, up 338 percent from the $4 million in the same period of 2013.
Yonhap tied the rise to earlier reports than North Korea is planning to introduce digital TV broadcasting.
In March 2013, a report on the Naenara website said trial broadcasting had begun in 2012.
“On the basis More >
By Tara Conlan, TheGuardian.com
BBC News should consider partnerships with foreign broadcasters and look at launching new services, such as radio news for North Korea or a TV channel in Africa, according to a report.
Sir Howard Stringer’s report, commissioned by BBC head of news James Harding, offers a range of recommendations to expand its services to help achieve the corporation’s ambition of serving a global audience of 500 million by 2022.
The corporation’s non-executive director said that BBC News should consider a “comprehensive” partnership with another national or international broadcaster, involving “deeper” newsgathering collaboration.#480495279 / gettyimages.com
New TV and radio services
Stringer said the corporation should More >
The revelation by North Korean state media on Sunday that Pyongyang suffered a major construction accident underlines how strong the regime’s grip on information flow remains, despite cracks appearing in recent years.
The accident occurred on Tuesday, according to the domestic media reports, but the world didn’t hear anything about the incident until those first reports were published on Sunday. By then, the rescue efforts had been completed and, apparent from images, the site had already been cleared of all debris.
The reports were unclear about the exact accident and number of casualties, but it appears likely an entire apartment block collapsed More >
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) put out a call Tuesday for projects aimed at human rights and democracy in North Korea.
DRL will fund winning proposals with grants of up to $350,000 per organization and groups have until May 13, 2014, to complete and submit their proposals.
Proposals can cover a broad range of areas, but the DRL advised they should “include activities that support recommendations from the recently released report from the Commission of Inquiry on North Korea and/or DPRK’s Universal Periodic Review.”
These could include projects that increase awareness and advocacy for North Korean human rights, More >
The Seoul-based station is understood to have suspended shortwave broadcasting at the end of March after a grant from the U.S. government used to pay for the transmissions apparently ended.
In common with the other private stations that target the DPRK, Open Radio doesn’t have its own transmitters. Instead, it bought time on transmitters located in the region.
It broadcast two programs via shortwave each day, one from 9:30pm to 11:30pm local time via a transmitter in Tashkent in More >