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North Korea

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 28th November 2014.

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Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the effectiveness of radio broadcasts to North Korea as a means of engagement with ordinary North Koreans on issues such as human rights.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The best available source of information on access to media devices in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a survey conducted by InterMedia as part of its 2012 report ‘A Quiet Opening: North Koreans in a Changing Media Environment’. http://audiencescapes.org/sites/default/files/A_Quiet_Opening_FINAL_InterMedia.pdf. The report includes a section on the effectiveness of radio broadcasts which is best read in context and taking into account the authors’ caveats about the report’s findings. It is clear that, for those North Koreans willing and able to take the risk of listening, cross-border radio broadcasts can provide access to information that is otherwise not available within the DPRK. There are a number of radio stations that broadcast into the DPRK for this reason. Without further information, it is difficult to quantify the effectiveness of these stations.

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