Posts tagged China
Cracks in the information wall that has long surrounded North Korea are increasingly allowing citizens in the country more exposure to foreign media, according to a report published on Thursday.
The report, produced by Intermedia for the U.S. Department of State, was based on surveys of several hundred defectors, refugees and travelers, and found “substantial numbers” are able to access outside media.
It’s based on a relatively small sample of a few hundred people made up of those who have already made it outside the country, either by defecting or crossing the Chinese border for trade. Therefore, the results can’t simply be More >
Kim Jong Il’s tour of China at the end of May saw the North Korean leader take in several high-tech factories and companies.
China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast a comprehensive report on the visit (aired after Kim had left Beijing) and provided details on some of the tour stops.
They included Yangzhou Smart Valley, the country’s Smart Grid Demonstration Center. There Kim got a demonstration of an e-book reader. He also visited Panda Group, a large manufacturer of consumer electronics products, and Beijing Digital China, an IT services company.
The reports come at an interesting time for free-speech online. Internet-based social networks and communications systems are being hailed as instrumental in protests that have toppled two Middle Eastern leaders and the U.S. has confirmed a commitment to advancing Internet freedom with diplomatic pressure and grants of up to US$30 million.
Internet access is available in the DPRK, but is believed to be severely restricted to all but the most-trusted members of the government and related organs.
KCNA’s first report came on Feb. 14, More >
Bloomberg Businessweek has a story on the Chinese cell phones in use in North Korea along the border region. It estimates around 1,000 people use such phones to keep in touch with relatives and associates in China, South Korea and elsewhere. Because the cell phones connect to Chinese cell phone towers it’s difficult for the North Korean government to eavesdrop on the calls, but it does mean use is restricted to the border area.
The piece interviews Open Radio for North Korea, the Seoul-based shortwave broadcaster, and the Daily NK Web site on how they gather information from inside North Korea More >