Improving Information Access in North Korea

North Korea is one of the most isolated countries in the world. Yet, North Koreans still have access to outside information. One report found 16 percent of North Koreans accessed computers, one-fourth of the population listened to radio broadcasts, and 42 percent of defectors reported access to DVD players

For dissidents struggling against totalitarian regimes, information is one of the most powerful weapons they can wield. The power of outside information was made evident during the Cold War, as Western technology and media broadcasts helped undermine the East German state. Now, America and South Korea are waging a similar battle against the authoritarian regime in Pyongyang.

Promoting democracy and access to information in North Korea is in both the strategic and humanitarian interests of the United States. Therefore, the U.S. must incorporate new technology into its existing strategy to promote information access in North Korea.

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