NGOs seek freedom of information in North

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NGOs seek freedom of information in North

A group of South Korean nongovernmental organizations for North Korea human rights said on Tuesday they are pushing to establish an international alliance by October, seeking to achieve freedom of information in North Korea through international cooperation.

Kang Shin-sam, head of Unification Media Group (UMG), which has previously sent television and radio signals to North Korea, said several South Korean groups are discussing with international non-governmental organizations the launch of an international alliance that would work to monitor North Korean surveillance and media control.

Radio Free Chosun (RFC) and Open Radio for North Korea (ONK), South Korean groups that broadcast radio programs to listeners in North Korea, as well as the internet media site Daily NK, will participate in the alliance, according to a Moonhwa Ilbo report.

Kang said that the group is discussing participation with international NGOs such as Reporters Without Borders, Freedom House and JSR Shiokaze.

At the second International Conference for Freedom of Information in North Korea, which will be held on May 4 at the Korea Press Center in central Seoul, international activists who work for North Korean human rights will discuss North Koreans’ current access to outside information.

One of the main agendas of the international alliance will be technology developments to deliver information to North Koran residents safely and effectively, Moonhwa Ilbo reported.

In addition, it will carry out campaigns to lift governmental restrictions and obtain approval for radio frequencies sent inside the North.

“The government’s support is essential if we are to send more powerful radio waves to the North,” Lee Kwang-baek, a senior representative of UMG, was quoted as saying.

BY KIM SO-HEE [kim.sohee0905@joongang.co.kr]

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