Chinese SW radios available on NK black market
November 18th, 2009 - 10:08 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.

Radio Free Asia quotes a defector as saying that North Korea allowed ships to carry shortwave radios as a safety measure after a seismic wave struck North Korea’s East coast and killed thousands of fishermen in 2005. Radio channels were fixed to government frequencies, but North Koreans took advantage of this relative relaxation to begin smuggling in radios from China and are now selling them on the black market.

Pyongyang remains deeply wary of international broadcasts, said the defector, whose identity must remain a sceret. “The North Korean government’s biggest concern is international radio broadcasts like those of Radio Free Asia. Content promoting democracy and disclosing leaders’ corruption as well as North Korea’s human rights situation—the Kim Jong Il regime considers this its biggest threat. When people learn these things, they don’t believe in the regime anymore. In this context, I think those broadcasts are fulfilling their mission fully and serving as a pillar for the spirit of the North Korean people.”