In North Korea, censorship is common practice; citizens don’t even know what the internet is. The public has access to central computers that can only access certain websites, selected by the government. Because of this, the media throughout North Korea is run by the government, showing only what it wants to show. Censorship in North Korea is a major issue.
North Korea has one of the most strict policies against public media and freedom of information in the world. Because of this, their citizens are unaware of their mental imprisonment, their ability to have free and unique thought is impeded because they are not allowed many of the freedoms that others experience in the world. North Korea frequently releases propaganda via their state-run news agency. Recently, they released an article stating that Americans should be killed with a stick because, according to North Korea, Americans are rabid dogs that need to be put down. North Korea’s news agency’s sole purpose is to spread propaganda and force North Korean’s opinions to fall into line with those of the state. Citizens are kept in hardship and are told what to do and what to think. In the past year, a North Korean bartender was interviewed by an international news organization; in his interview, he expressed pride in [North Korea’s] advancing missile capabilities after a [transmission] of a missile test was played on one of the few television channels of which almost all of state-owned.
This is very different from the television in the United States. Instead of entertainment, missile tests are broadcasted. North Korea is attempting to make citizens think that they will launch the missile and kill the Yankees with nuclear warheads (Inside Nuclear” 11). North Korea has been gradually increasing the internet infrastructure within the country. Many speculate this is because they are trying to protect themselves from cyber war and be able to plan cyber attacks on the opposing nations. In the past year, North Korea has opened up a new internet connection with the help of Transtelecom, a Russian-owned firm that helped to build a new internet connection. Russia is sending the message that they support oppression and that, as a country, they support North Korea’s control over the internet and media. This new internet connection will not be for the citizens use, instead, it will be for the North Korean high ranking officials. Transtelecom paved the way for the limiting what websites citizens can visit, essentially they promote oppressive governments (Taylor). North Korean is encroaching upon the minds of its constituents and does not appear to be stopping in the near future. North Koreans are oppressed but they do not know it because of the government’s oppression.
In North Korea, mobile communication is also restricted and very sporadically located within the country. In the year 2014, the CIA released information announcing that there are approximately 1.2 million landlines and 2.8 million cell phones activated, which is approximately 11 people out of 100. Although they are available, international phones are very restricted and not ubiquitous.International phones are restricted most likely so that citizens do not realize they are oppressed. Landlines are not very common in the US whereas in North Korea they are, they are a little bit less than half of all phones in DPRK.In North Korea, there are only two radio stations and 3 tv stations that are all run by the North Korean government. Independent tv, radio or news is not allowed. The televisions in the country are automatically tuned to the government stations. North Koreans have no choice in what media they enjoy, they simply are told what to do. They must watch the government television which could easily manipulate the public because there are no alternative media to allow them to think otherwise.The CIA has released information stating that there are 31 radio stations, of which 17 are AM and 14 are FM. Inside the homes of all citizens, there is an intercom that the government can activate at any time.North Koreans are forced to consume media from the government and have no other option to choose other sources of entertainment.
They are required to listen to the built-in intercoms inside each of their houses that the government can use to spread information quickly.In the past 6 years, there have been less than 10 internet users within North Korea. The internet is only allowed for visitors and those who are government officials. The internet basically does not exist in North Korea. North Korea uses alternative methods of communication to spread news and information(“Korea, North). Many dictators censor public internet access to their constituents. Countries such as North Korea or China block the internet which restricts the freedom of the citizens for accessible information. Censorship has recently grown in popularity among dictatorships. North Korea is following suit with other authoritarian countries and banning or heavily restricting the internet. This oppression of public information likely has an impact on how the public in North Korea see the world because they do not have the same level of media and newsaccess like the most of the rest of the world does.The government’s reasoning behind these policies is that the public can easily become unrest due to the flow of information. On some occasions, the government has shut the internet down temporarily to maintain control of the public so as to maintain the calm.Countries such as North Korea have so much control over the public, they can easily control the media and the public opinion. North Korea chose to go the “block it” route and completely ban the internet.
The only “websites” North Korean citizens can access are ones that the government has created to share propaganda. North Koreans lack the knowledge to revolt against the government because they do not have access to the free internet to see how the rest of the world is.In North Korea, the internet is almost nonexistent, only high government officialscan use it for political or military reasons. North Korea restricts the internet to the elite and thus they show that the internet can only be handled by the intelligent and that the public can not handle such information.The free internet is hidden away from the large majority of North Koreans. They do, however, have an intranet that can access a select number of websites that the government publishes with propaganda.The North Korean government hides the free internet so that citizens are restricted to the intranet that they provide so that citizen’s opinions and minds can be molded to fit the governments’ opinions (“Approaches to Internet). Oppression is a timeless act, in Antigone by Sophocles, Antigone is oppressed for her gender and its social stereotype. Antigone says we must remember that by birth we’re women, and, as such, we shouldn’t fight with men. Since those who rule are much more powerful, we must obey in this and in events. This shows her gender is oppressed in the Thebes (Sophocles 1.1.77-80). North Korea has one of the most oppressive policies on public media and public knowledge. Because of this, their citizens are mindless and their opinions are formed by their government.
In North Korea, public media, television, news stations, and radios are all state-owned and do not allow their citizens to have free thought, form opinions of their own, or simply have a say in what media they consume. The oppression of media in North Korea is a major crisis that immediate remedial action taken.