Information being broadcast at North Korea via loudspeakers on the DMZ appears to include anti-North content, information about life in South Korea and, of course, popular music.
The South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) last Monday announced the resumption of loudspeaker radio broadcasting toward North Korea in response to the detonation of a mine, allegedly planted by North Korean personnel, which seriously injured two South Koreans. The MND has announced plans to expand the loudspeakers, placing 11 of them to cover the entire border area.
The resumed broadcast includes the same content as the Voice of Freedom, which may be heard in Seoul at FM 107.3.
“It usually broadcasts about ethnic homogeneity, that South and North share the same culture and history, the superiority of the South Korean system, including our culture of (capitalistic) consumption, the international economic standard and various types of K-pop,” one of the personnel involved in producing the program told NK News on condition of anonymity.
A listen to the 107.3 broadcast revealed a variety of content.
For example, defectors talk about their lives in the South. After this, it broadcast a family’s dialogue about “how to deal with hot weather” in South Korea.
Buddhist preaching followed.
“Each religion takes part in this broadcast,” a source with knowledge of the matter told NK News, also on condition of anonymity.
Generally, the broadcast includes a combination of casual conversation and anti-DPRK content.
“It used to be more strident toward North Korea in the past, but since 1990s it has been trying to describe the reality of democratic society, as it is the more effective means of psychological warfare,” the source said.
Still, it includes criticism of Kim Jong Un and the North Korean system. Well-known Dong-a Ilbo journalist Ju Seong-ha showed up on a program featuring analysis of North Korea’s state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper.
“Hello, North Korean residents. This is Read the Rodong Sinmun Again, which reads the paper properly and discovers the hidden facts and truth. Today we will take a look the paper published on July 31, which included combat flying news,” the program’s anchor said during the broadcast.
As the program continued, Ju and the anchor criticized Kim Jong Un’s behavior, including staged photo ops of him getting off a plane, as though he were traveling to another country on a state visit.
“No foreign country will welcome Kim Jong Un, because he is a dictator. Thus, he is playing the king alone, on the red velvet,” Ju said.
Between programs, it broadcasts South Korean songs. Some of these reach back to pre-K-pop days: On Thursday, “Closer Under the Sky” and “Tears Flow as I See the Southern Sky” by Lee Seung-hoon (this one, not this one) were played.
After 3 p.m., its broadcast turned to the oppression of freedom in North Korea.
“It is a crime that North Korea detains a civilian, who was working on humanitarian exchanges,” it said of South Korean citizen Yoo Seong-jin, who was working at the Kaesong Industrial Complex and detained for 137 days before being released on August 13, 2009.
“During the detainment of Yoo, basic human rights were not observed. It is a crime that North Korea frequently detains people, in opposition to their free will,” journalist Jang Ki-chan said.
A search reveals no article with the name “Jang Ki-chan,” making this likely an assumed name.
The ministry declined to discuss the schedule of the broadcasts, other than saying that it is similar to past programs.
According to an edition of the Monthly Chosun published in 2004, the schedule included programs like The World We Live In, The Republic of Korea in the World, Abundance and Prosperity, World News, Religious Time and The Way to Unification, before it was suspended in 2004.
The program was resumed in 2010 after the Cheonan sinking.
Featured image: Richard King, Flickr Creative Commons
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