North Korea has been known for keeping all kinds of information secretive. Even Wikileaks has found it difficult to gain information from North Korea for the past few years. They had managed to keep the news of their leader’s death a secret for two days from the international community, which shows how secretive they are. North Korea generally does not give its citizens any kind of internet access and severely restricts cell phone communication. It’s a country in which radios are considered illegal if they can access non-state controlled stations, but ironically its the only real-time direct source of sensitive outside news available nationwide. Any kind of of foreign news broadcasts are jammed especially those which are funded by U.S and South Korea. It tries, and suppresses every organization that tries to intervene.
Defectors who oppose the ruling party and face state imprisonment. Amnesty International estimates as many as 200,000 people are being held in North Korean labor camps today (information based on satellite imagery and defector accounts). All this will soon come to an end according to Robert King, President Barack Obama’s U.S envoy on North Korean Human rights. “Breaking the information blockade is the key to positive change in North Korea,” King said. Because Pyongyang succeeds in controlling what’s “flowing into, within and out of North Korea,” King said, “in this era of virtually instantaneous global information, North Korea remains the most extreme example of isolation”.
Its media isolations needs to stop since media is one of the basic human rights condition. It needs to treat its humans like citizens and not caged human beings who have no right to information (or the truth). The problem presently is that North Korea’s human rights problem hasn’t reached the world media nor has it gained attention by the United Nations or the International community. It has tried to keep its citizens feelings a secret and has been very successful in it.
King’s recent change in feelings was due to the fact that it could not keep the failed attempt to launch a satellite in April a secret,which is a milestone for the human rights battle in North Korea. The government of North Korea is now aware that news and information from the outside world is finding its way to the citizens which is why they took the bold and unexpected step of not keeping their failed satellite launch attempt a secret.
When North Korea would launch a missile and it failed, they would lie to the citizens and say that it was successful. “I think the difference reflects the effect of information getting into North Korea and the constraints that places on the government and what it can say to its own people” King said. “I still believe that the power of broadcasting can make a difference in breaking down the information blockade that is the key to positive change in North Korea,” King said. “This is a fundamental component of our commitment to improving human rights in North Korea,” he said. “Ultimately, a more open information environment contributes to a more conscious North Korean (citizenry)”. King said he once worked with Radio Free Europe when Central Europe was under Soviet domination, “and I saw first-hand the importance of international broadcasting in promoting human rights and openness and information in countries whose leaders sought to shut them off from the outside world.”
So, he said, “The United States broadcasts news and other information into North Korea in an effort to break down the isolation of the people there. “Our country was founded on fundamental principles of human rights, and our support for these rights is an important part of what defines the American people,” he said. King concluded by saying, “(North Korea) must demonstrate respect for human rights in order for it to participate fully in the international community, and we urge it to do so.”
North Korea continues to deny its human right abuses and suggest that all the allegations are just U.S propaganda. If this were true, why would they actually hide the truth from their citizens. Why don’t they let news organizations of other countries give their citizens the truth. They deny all facts and say that their citizens are being told the ‘truth’.
Unless North Korea lets its citizens free and give them their basic human rights it can never advance as a country and will continue to be an army centered nation.