Friday, March 02, 2007

Rejiggering in North Korea

How to Topple Kim Jong Il (Foreign Policy March/April 2007 subscription required) identifies radio as a key strategy. Updating my Thanksgiving blog, the article reports that it is "becoming common to modify the state-produced radios that have fixed tuning to the state's propaganda channels. With a little rejiggering, North Koreans can listen to foreign news broadcasts." This is part of the articles prescription to
"deliver information inside." Other elements of that prescription:

"Realize a quiet revolution is already under way" because control relies on rewarding the elite with money and goods the state no longer has. "Leverage the refugee community in the South"supporting those that still have connections and a network to the north. "Fund, plan, and carry out cultural exchanges" which may benefit only the elite, but familiarizing their children with life outside the Hermit Kingdom will undermine it. And "convince fellow Republicans that subtle measures can work" because dramatic confrontation bolsters Kim Jong Il's position as the country's protector against the imperialist west.

Author Andrei Lankov writes with the experience of a former Soviet citizen. Understanding and evaluating technology helps us understand our world.

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