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N. Korean Defectors Fight Regime with the Radio
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N. Korean Defectors Fight Regime with the Radio

World

N. Korean Defectors Fight Regime with the Radio

N. Korean Defectors Fight Regime with the Radio
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Even before North Korea's nuclear test, a small group of people was working to actively hasten the downfall of Kim Jong Il's regime. They're mainly North Korean defectors living in Seoul, who run a radio station broadcasting news into North Korea for an hour a day.

Just eight people work for Radio Free North Korea. Six are North Korean defectors who've made the long and dangerous trek to freedom in South Korea. Beaming shortwave broadcasts into the North was the idea of Kim Sung-min, a former North Korean military propaganda writer.

"We want to contribute to the downfall of the North Korean regime," Kim says. "Not in a forceful, violent way, but by teaching North Koreans what democracy means, so they will initiate change themselves."

The group hopes to turn North Koreans against Kim Jong-Il by exposing him as a brutal dictator, and by introducing concepts of freedom and democracy.

Relying on sources inside North Korea — often people near the Chinese border with illegal cell phones — the radio station paints a picture of a society ravaged by food shortages and rampant corruption, where ideological loyalty to the regime is fading.

It's impossible to know how big the station's North Korean audience is. But research by a Christian organization in North Korea found 17 percent of those surveyed had listened to Radio Free North Korea.

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