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.
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 >
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 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 >
Three of North Korea’s state security and censorship organizations have been called out by Reporters Without Borders in the organization’s latest ranking of “Enemies of the Internet.”
The report was published on Wednesday, which RSF and Amnesty International have named world day against cyber censorship.
The three organizations named by RSF are the Central Scientific and Technological Information Agency, which runs the domestic intranet system, Group 109, which attempts to police distribution of illegal foreign content, and Bureau 27, which monitors cell phones and radio broadcasts.
RSF calls Group 109 “censorship’s elite force” and draws on testimony provided to the United Nations that claims More >
The European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea (EAHRNK) says the BBC can’t prove whether a hypothetical Korean service would be jammed or not.
Jamming is the deliberate broadcasting of an interfering radio signal on the same channel as a targeted program so it becomes unlistenable.
Shortwave radio is one of the few ways that up-to-date information gets into North Korea and the government engages in aggressive jamming against most broadcasts.
The possibility of jamming and the inability More >
The decision was relayed in a letter from British Foreign Secretary William Hague to the U.K. Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. The BBC World Service is currently funded by a grant from the Hague’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, although that’s about to change.
“The World Service has re-examined the case for broadcasts into North Korea, considering both the feasibility of such broadcasts and how effective they would be in reaching North Korean audiences,” More >
A group called The European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea (EAHRNK) has published a report making a case for such a service and just launched an online petition.
In its report, EAHRNK argues that North Korean citizens need independent sources of news and information and that radio broadcasts provide the best way of delivering that to the country.
Several radio stations are already doing just this – Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, South Korea’s KBS and private stations run by North Korean defectors More >
North Korean state media’s coverage of the arrest, trial and subsequent execution of Jang Song Thaek was “tantamount to mass intimidation,” Reporters Without Borders said on Thursday.
“Although only to be expected from one of the world’s worst dictatorships, such manipulation of news and information is disturbing,” the Paris-based group said in a statement.
“The extensive and indeed staged coverage of this execution coinciding with the hyped coverage of the second anniversary of Kim Jong-il’s death had the hallmarks of a intimidatory message to the entire Korean population and the international community.”
One of the things that made Jang’s arrest notable was the way it was More >