Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sending Radios to North Korea

How about that?

Let's send thousands of transistor radios by balloons to North Korea (just as they did in Afghanistan) so they can listen to South Korean broadcasts.

It has been estimated that each radio would only coast USD 20. This could probably be brought down if supported by a Japanese hi-tech manufacturer.

Why? This could help bring "modernity" to North Korea.

To foster discussion (which this blog has been horrible at), how do you rate this method to helping develop a civil society in North Korea?

There are many complications involved, including opposition from the Chinese and ROK governments (who wish to keep the status quo), cost and logistics (who should carry this out?).

Tell me that I'm crazy (but don't forget to come up with a better solution).

BBC article on 2003 radio attempt


Ahistoricality said...

It would help, but without other forms of evidence to bolster what came from the radios, it wouldn't help enough. It would just be another voice (well, a bunch of other voices).

In a system that fragile, it might well be enough, but it's hard to judge.

I would couple it -- not abandon it -- with massive food aid. Not the "keep 'em alive" trickle that gets redirected to the army, but enough food so that the government couldn't justify rationing or save most of it for the military, etc. A concrete demonstration of the wealth of the rest of the world, combined with better information... it's what brought down communism elsewhere.

cookiesap on-line said...

I like your idea of massive food aid. Flooding the DPRK with opulence to demostrate the wealth of the rest of the world might just work... However, it would have be carried out in a way that would not give credit to Kim Jung-il.

But on the other hand - China will likely be a huge obstacle to such ideas as any proposal to change the status quo on the Korean peninsula.

# said...


Ahistoricality said...

Yeah, that's what he said, too.

But at some point we might have to tell China that we don't do "spheres of influence" anymore and, as long as we don't do something dumb to create a casus belli, they really can't stop us....