North Korea Jams Overseas Private Radio Broadcasts

Namgung Min  |  2007-11-05 01:39
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[imText1]A study revealed that North Korea has been jamming private radio broadcasts from South Korea dedicated to listeners in North Korea.

Northeast Asian Broadcasting Institute, a private radio broadcasting agency, disclosed in the 10th issue of its monthly Northeast Asian Broadcasting Study that North Korea has been jamming most of the South Korean radio programs targeting North Korean listeners with the exception of Global Korean Network of Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), South Koreas premier public broadcaster.

The list of radio stations which broadcast programs dedicated to North Korean people is as follows: Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, KBSs Global Korean Network, Free North Korea, Open Radio for North Korea, Far East Broadcasting Company, North Korea Mission Radio, Shiokaze of Japan and Radio Free Chosun.

The Institute conducted its research by evaluating the shortwave radio reception of broadcasts dedicated to North Korean listeners from October 1st to the 7th. The study showed that almost all radio broadcasts targeting both North Korean listeners (i.e., VOA and RFA) and South Korean listeners (i.e., Central Chosun broadcasting station and Pyongyang Broadcast station) were experiencing radio signal jamming.

Global Korean Network of the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) was the only program broadcasted without interference. It is a radio program aired on media-wave, so its frequency remains relatively unsusceptible to jamming. Moreover, recently the program greatly curtailed its contents specifically targeting North Korean people. Therefore, the institute argued that the North Korean authorities might have considered the program insignificant and so ignored it.

Since the North Korean authorities continue to jam overseas private radio broadcasts dedicated to North Korean people, it is important to come up with some countermeasures against the interference.

The number of North Koreans who listen to foreign radio broadcasts has been increasing particularly among the young people. Many defectors said that it was KBS Liberty Radio that came in sounded clearest. They said they have also heard of the radio programs VOA and Far East Broadcasting Company.

A defector, Kim Sung Chul, said, Since 2000, the number of North Korean people who try to watch foreign films and listen to South Korean radio programs has greatly increased. He added, People use electrical wiring or antennas to receive a signal. It is hard for the North Korean authorities to stop the people from listening to radio even if they try to jam foreign radio broadcasts.

Ha Tae Kyung, the head of Open Radio for North Korea said, We need to use more radio frequencies to avoid North Koreas jamming interference. However, many private radio stations dedicated to North Korean listeners have financial difficulties. We really need support from the South Korean government.
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