Now beaming live from Pyongyang: NORKSCASTS!
Voice of Korea discovers streaming media to bring absolute truth
Netizens with a hankering for some good old fashioned propaganda and Soviet-style marching music may be interested to know the daily English language programme from North Korea’s state-run radio station Voice of Korea is now available online.
The one-hour broadcast is being made available by London-based World Radio Network (aka WRN Broadcast), and is available at 7pm local time every day (11am GMT) or on-demand.
Unlike most of the other radio programmes on WRN, Voice of Korea’s is taken from shortwave transmissions, which immediately gives the listener the sense of tuning in to a war-time broadcast – quite appropriately since North and South Korea only signed an armistice in 1953, not a lasting peace settlement.
It also makes most of the programme pretty unintelligible, aside from the strangely clipped Germanic accent of the male presenter, the eerie intro chimes and the inevitable militaristic propaganda songs with their Stalinesque rousing choruses and marching band flourishes.
As pointed out by North Korea Tech, there are shorter clips from VoK available on its English language web site in far better quality audio, including an intriguing quiz which asks the crucial question: “Who triggered the Korean War?”.
Even in the age of the internet, radio broadcasts are still viewed at both ends of the Korean peninsula as a potentially dangerous channel for the distribution of propaganda.
Radio broadcasts from NORKS are still blocked in the South according to Seoul's National Security Law, while North Koreans are only allowed to listen to state-run radio and Pyongyang jams all signals coming from outside the country.
However, there have been increasingly bold attempts to smuggle South Korean TV shows and films into NORKS on DVDs and USB drives – leading to a pretty draconian crack down by the Kim Jong-un regime which included disabling the USB ports on imported DVD players. ®
In other musical news from the NORKS, they have a state-sanctioned girl band. Genuinely. Listen to the glorious strains of Let's Study as you sip at your cabbage soup, comrade!