There are thousands of news podcasts out there in the audio world, hosted by some of the world’s leading news agencies and think tanks. But there is one topic that has yet to be covered with any depth or regularity: North Korea.
To fill this void, NK News is launching a new weekly podcast this February to update readers on what we do best – getting behind the North Korea headlines with insight and analysis from some of the world’s leading experts on the country, defector voices, former residents and leading international observers.
Hosted by Jacco Zwetsloot, director of business development at HMP law firm by day and a keen North Korea watcher by night, the “North Korea News Podcast” will cover all things DPRK: from news to extended interviews with leading experts and analysts in the field and insight from our very own journalists.
The podcast builds on the success of Kurt Achin’s work between 2014-2015 for an earlier iteration of the NK News podcast, which ran for 23 episodes and can be listened to here.
This new English language program is available directly on the NK News site, as well as on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, Youtube, and other podcast hosting directories.
“Despite global interest in North Korea issues having surged in 2017 to unprecedented levels, there is surprisingly no dedicated podcast to exploring the subject,” said Korea Risk Group managing director Chad O’Carroll.
“As the leading provider of specialist news, analysis and data on North Korea, we are looking forward to help our listeners get behind the headlines each week in this new podcast.”
In its pilot episode, NK News interviewed leading North Korea expert Andrei Lankov, the Director of Korea Risk Group and Professor at Kookmin University in Seoul. Having recently returned from a trip to Yanji, which he wrote about here, Lankov shared more details from the trip, looked at how UN sanctions are impacting the Sino-DPRK relationship, and discussed how South Korea is faring under President Moon Jae-in almost one year since his election.
Read an excerpt from the episode:
Jacco Zwetsloot: When you are in Yanji, how do you actually go about approaching a North Korean informant?
Andrei Lankov: Ten, fifteen years ago, you could basically walk into a market and come across a North Korean easily. This is ancient history now. Now you have to use your networks to establish trust and make contact.
Jacco Zwetsloot: Yanji is a city where you can find North Korean refugees escaping from North Korea but also North Korean officials. That seems like a potential volatile or dangerous mix. Are the refugees shy about talking to outsiders?
Andrei Lankov: If they have recommendations and they believe the security is reasonably good, they are talking. And I’m not talking about politics, usually. They talk about daily life, economics, etc. In this trip, I have not seen a single refugee. Last time I did, but the numbers are very small now.
Jacco Zwetsloot: Why is that?
Andrei Lankov: A few reasons. You will hear that control on the border is much tighter than before. It’s true. Starting from–I remember the days in 2005 to 2008, when the border with China was essentially unprotected.
There were no fences, no patrols, no nothing on the Chinese side of the border. Anyone could go to the border and stay near the river and in winter when the river is frozen, it was quite possible to walk to North Korea. The North Koreans were much better in border control, but the Chinese didn’t care. It was essentially an open border, practically the same border as the United States and Canada. But that’s not the case anymore.
Listen to the full episode here:
Featured Image: by nknews_hq on 2015-09-04 09:18:55