Korea, Democratic People's Republic of (DPRK) - Media



Postal, telephone, and telegraph services are operated by the government. Telephones are believed to be used primarily for government business. In 1997 there were 1.1 million telephone lines in use.

The central broadcasting station in P'yongyang has a 1,500-kW transmitter. Broadcasts reach to every corner of the country through a system of more than one million loudspeakers, as well as through private radios. In addition, news is broadcast to other countries in English, Russian, French, and Spanish. There are two radio networks (Korean Central Radio and Radio P'yongyang) and two television networks (Korean Central TV and Mansudae TV). In total there were 16 AM and 14 FM radio stations, and 38 television stations in 1999. In 2000 there were 154 radios and 54 television sets for every 1,000 people. Internet access is only available to government officials.

All newspapers and periodicals in the DPRK are published by government, party, or front organizations; each edition is subjected to prepublication review and censorship. As of 2002, there were four daily newspapers in publication. The leading national newspapers and their publishers are: Rodong Sinmun (Central Committee of the Korean Workers' Party, circulation 1,500,000); Minju Choson (Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly and the cabinet, circulation 200,000); Joson Immingun (Korean People's Army Daily); and Rodong Chongnyon (Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League). Each province has a newspaper, and other mass organizations have their own publications. A state news service, the Korean Central News Agency, is the sole organ for the gathering and dissemination of news.

Though there are articles of the constitution that provide for freedom of speech and the press, in practice the government prohibits the exercise of these rights, controlling all information. The receiving of foreign broadcasts is illegal, as is any criticism of the government in any media.

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