Robert King, the special U.S. envoy on North Korean human rights, has called for more efforts to bring the people of North Korea in contact with the wider world by weakening the regime’s information blockade.
In a lecture at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, King said, “We must work to break down North Korea’s government monopoly on the control of information and work together to increase North Koreans’ exposure to ideas, conditions and reality of the world beyond the borders of North Korea.”
Only some 15,000 people are allowed access to the Internet and need to obtain permission to visit different websites.
King cited a survey among North Korean defectors in South Korea and abroad, which revealed that 34 percent of people in North Korea regularly listen to foreign radio broadcasts.
He said he heard that a busy and rowdy restaurant in Pyongyang suddenly went silent when news of the execution of Jang Song-thaek came. With so much fear instilled in their minds, North Koreans are very “cautious about rising up and doing something” about their human right situations, he added.