US legislation authorizes $50 million for broadcasts into North Korea

(Photo: VOA)

(Photo: VOA)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andrea Borgnino, who shares this article from Fox News:

Seeking to derail North Korea’s drive for nuclear weapons, Republican and Democratic senators set aside their partisan differences Wednesday to unanimously pass legislation aimed at starving Pyongyang of the money it needs to build an atomic arsenal.

[…]The Senate bill, authored by Menendez and Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., targets North Korea’s ability to finance the development of miniaturized nuclear warheads and the long-range missiles required to deliver them. The legislation also authorizes $50 million over the next five years to transmit radio broadcasts into North Korea, purchase communications equipment and support humanitarian assistance programs.

The legislation comes in the wake of Pyongyang’s recent satellite launch and technical advances that U.S. intelligence agencies said the reclusive Asian nation is making in its nuclear weapons program.[…]

Read the full article at Fox News…

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7 thoughts on “US legislation authorizes $50 million for broadcasts into North Korea

  1. Robert

    For all of the money our government wastes, this is not one of them, assuming it actually puts signals in the air. Three stories within the last 6 months illustrate the effectiveness of radio in oppressive regimes (all of which I believe were reported here at
    — “BBC Looking To Increase Russian Presence”
    This is an excellent article posted by Kim Andrew Elliott concerning the BBC’s desire to expand its reach into Russia.
    — and here is a story about N. Korea experience of S. Korean radio:
    — SW radios are int he homes of N. Koreans –
    — and another story about Cuban resistance to VOA and other groups’ radio transmissions:
    Simply put, radio makes a difference, and the governments of the world need to get their heads out of the collective tuckuses and realize this isn’t about revenues, but about changing lives.

  2. Tom Servo

    What a waste of taxpayer money. Did no one tell the Congresscritters that the Norks don’t get radios that can tune away from the state broadcasts? You’re targeting an infinitesimally small group with clandestine radios that will be jammed from here to eternity.

    There’s the old phrase “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” I think it applies here. Our propaganda will only harden their stance against us. It has never worked on China, it has never worked on Cuba and it will never work here. So why waste the money?

    That’s not to say there’s no way to reach these people. The South Koreans have been pretty successful smuggling USB sticks full of western media into the country via China and clandestine air drops. There are a lot more illegal DVD players there than illegal radios, I bet.

    1. Keith Perron

      North Koreans do have access to radios that tune the full spectrum. These are smuggled radios from China sold on the black market. North Koreans caught with one of these sets face a long prison term or in some cases death. The Chinese province of Liaoning that borders the DPRK is the main smuggling point.

      You can not use China or Cuba as an example. These two countries never cut themselves off from the world. If you talk to North Koreans who defected to South Korea. They will all tell you the same thing. Radio was one of their main sources of news about the DPRK and the outside world.

    2. Heather

      But it did work on the Eastern Bloc and the Soviets, brilliantly in fact. Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe, with a few spare parts on a shortwave, are credited with the bloodless Velvet Revolution and the opening of the Iron Curtain. We simply cannot give up on them. It is a tremendous amount though.

  3. Tha Dood

    Gee, the US gov is going to broadcast to N. Korea for $50 million for the next five years, when pirates would be willing to do it for free? Hmmmmm, your tax dollars at work. They’ll jam it anyway. The worst thing about that is jammers don’t QSL. And the N. Koreans can introduce a so-called way of intentional jamming that we use in the USA that’s on the cheap. Over here it’s called BPL and AC power line noise, and can wipe out MW and HF spectrum-wide. It’s very effective in this country.

    1. Keith Perron

      50$ million for 5 years is cheap. Pirates? What pirates?

      You mention jamming. Unlike China, Iran, Vietnam, Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Jamming by the North Koreans is not very effective. As for the North Koreans using BPL or AC power line noise. The DPRK is unable for the most part with the exception of Pyongyang to provide stable power to 90% of the country.


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