Is Daily NK a defector-run organization?
No. Daily NK has never been “run” by defectors, although the organization hires journalists who are originally from North Korea and have settled in South Korea. Daily NK’s editor-in-chief and president are both South Korean. Anyone interested in learning more about the roots of the organization and its leaders are encouraged to read the following:
Where does Daily NK get its funding?
A large portion of Daily NK’s funding sources are in the public sphere. One of our biggest donors is the US-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and information about NED grants Daily NK has received can be found here.
Daily NK also accepts donations through its website and weekly newsletter to help fund its operations and reporting activities.
Who are Daily NK’s stringers in North Korea? In China?
Daily NK has spent years cultivating a network of informants in North Korea. For security reasons, Daily NK is unable to reveal the number of sources it has in the country. Readers of Daily NK articles will notice that sources hail from almost all parts of the country, including hard-to-communicate areas such as Kangwon Province and South Hwanghae Province. Sources include government officials, business people and others.
Daily NK also has sources in China who provide information about events occurring in China and across the Sino-North Korean border.
We also occasionally use defectors as sources to clarify or obtain comment on various aspects of North Korean affairs.
All Daily NK sources in North Korea are anonymous given the difficult media environment in North Korea, which is ranked one of the most draconian in the world.
How does Daily NK protect its stringers?
Daily NK communicates with its sources using phones, messages and other forms of communication. Messages and calls are encrypted to ensure safety of the sources.
Does Daily NK use at least two sources in its articles?
Daily NK strives to corroborate its stories as much as possible. While many stories use at least two sources, there are exemptions: certain news stories can only be confirmed by one particularly well-placed source. Due to security concerns, Daily NK is typically unable to share much information about the social status, location or other identifying details concerning its sources.
Who makes up Daily NK’s staff?
Daily NK is made up of both South Korean and North Korean defector journalists. Our English page is managed by an American, who manages translators from various parts of the globe.
How many languages is Daily NK published in?
We have websites in Chinese, Korean, English and Japanese. Daily NK’s Japanese website is run by a separate organization and is editorially separate from Daily NK’s Korean website.
What is Unification Media Group (UMG) and what is its relationship with Daily NK?
UMG manages radio broadcasts into North Korea and heads a consortium that includes Daily NK. Many Daily NK reports from North Korea are cycled into broadcasts by UMG for its listeners in North Korea.
Are there examples of Daily NK reporting that has been confirmed by other sources?
Given the difficult reporting environment in North Korea, it remains close to impossible to “independently” confirm many stories. However, Daily NK has a record of accurately reporting on many stories mainly through confirmation from North Korea’s own state-run media outlets or South Korean government announcements. Some examples of stories confirmed by other sources after being published in the Daily NK include:
- Set up of buffer zones on the Sino-North Korean border: Daily NK reported on Sept. 4 (in Korean, Sept. 7 in English) that North Korea had set up “strict security zones” on the Sino-North Korean border with shoot-to-kill orders. Gen. Abrams, commander of United Nations Command, confirmed this on Sept. 10. https://www.dailynk.com/english/north-korea-sets-up-strict-security-zones-sino-north-korean-border/
- October amnesty: Daily NK reported on July 27, 2020, that North Korea was planning a special amnesty for prisoners more than two weeks before it was reported in state media on Aug. 16, 2020. https://www.dailynk.com/english/north-korea-may-release-large-number-prisoners-october/
- School closures due to COVID-19: Daily NK reported in Feb. 2020 on school closures almost a week before it was confirmed by North Korean state media reports. https://www.dailynk.com/english/north-korea-closes-schools-throughout-country-one-month/
- Schools to reopen on Apr. 17: Daily NK reported on Apr. 14, 2020, that schools would reopen on Apr. 17. https://www.dailynk.com/english/sources-north-koreas-schools-reopen-apr-17/
- Kim Jong Un’s visit to Samjiyon in Oct. 2019: Citing sources in the country, Daily NK reported on his movements before it was reported in state media. Daily NK’s report on his movements reportedly led to a massive crackdown in the area as part of attempts to find the leaker. https://www.dailynk.com/english/kim-jong-uns-train-leaves-samjiyon-after-three-day-visit/
- Dismissal of State Academy of Sciences president: Daily NK reported on the dismissal President Jang Chol on Dec. 29, 2019, which was confirmed by subsequent reports in North Korean state media. https://www.dailynk.com/english/sources-president-of-state-academy-of-sciences-dismissed/
- Holding of a local people’s committee election: Daily NK reported on Mar. 26, 2019, that a local election for county committee delegates would be held in July, later confirmed in state media on June 11. https://www.dailynk.com/english/elections-for-peoples-committees-across-north-korea-scheduled-for-july/
- North Korea sends mushrooms to South Korea: Daily NK reported on Sept. 13, 2018, that North Korean authorities were collecting the best mushrooms to Pyongyang to present to the Blue House. This was confirmed by a Blue House report on Sept. 20, 2018. https://www.dailynk.com/english/pine-mushrooms-shipped-en-masse-to-pyongyang-inter-korean-summit-gifts/
- Ri Sol Ju’s attendance at a dinner between leaders of the two Koreas: Daily NK reported on Apr. 26, 2018, that Ri Sol Ju would attend the dinner, and this was confirmed by a Blue House report that Ri had arrived at Panmunjom on Apr. 27, 2018. https://www.dailynk.com/english/ri-sol-jus-attendance-at-interkore/
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