Following my previous article on North Korea and the European Media, I thought it would be a good idea to resurrect this series. Given that the standardized Western media is of limited use when trying to understand North Korea, additional sources are clearly preferable. As such, it is the aim of this article to provide those. Initially, it was not easy to find websites in English but a closer look revealed that apart from this very website, there are a multitude of additional high-quality sources available.
This is perhaps the most prominent source that provides quality insights into North Korea. DailyNK is run by North Korean defectors and publishes articles on an almost daily basis. What makes DailyNK very special is its vast network within North Korea. As such, it is possible to gain insights that would otherwise remain hidden. Hereby the “Defector’s Story” column deserves a special mention.
2) North Korean Economy Watch
As the name suggests, NK Economy Watch has a special focus on the economy. The author is a PhD student in economics and as such knows what he is talking about. This is very reflected in the quality of the articles. Recently, a very interesting article about the possibility of buying North Korean government bonds has been published. The underlying idea is that you buy these bonds hoping that the South Korean government will pay for North Korean debt upon Korean unification. Clearly, the associated risks are enormous – but so are the potential benefits and gains.
3) Free Radio North Korea
Free Radio North Korea is special because it does not only provide news in English, but also a radio service. More importantly, it can also be listened to in North Korea. Since its establishment in 2003, broadcasting hours and contents provided have increased steadily and Free Radio North Korea has been awarded with, among others, the Asian award for Democracy and Human Rights.
Ronald Reagan once said that “information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, It wafts across the electrified borders”. This is especially true with respect to North Korea and all the above mentioned websites provide invaluable insights. Their actions and services provided are therefore all the more useful in order to properly prepare for unification.