South Korean News on Broadcast in Pyongyang

Daily NK
Kim Min Se

It was reported that the North Korean high officials and Chinese emigrants have been using the satellite antennas in Pyongyang and major cities in North Korea to get access to South Korean TV.

Previously it has been reported that the high quality antenna (Yagi Antenna) smuggled from China was used to intercept the South Korean ground waves, which allowed them to listen and watch South Korean news and drama through Japanese televisions in secrecy in Kaesung and Pyongyang.

The “Yagi Antenna” is a VHF receiver which is intercepted for television. This type of antenna is utilized as a receiver for waves from South Korean soil which has high risk of being detected by outside and enforces its usage around nighttime.

However, recently the high officials in North Korea use satellite antennas in secrecy to watch South Korean news and drama. Due to the restriction, the number of people utilizing this satellite service is restricted.

Song Myung Hak (pseudonym), a Chinese trader who went to Pyongyang last month said, “I was surprised to get a request from a friend of mine who worked as a North Korean diplomat on his request to obtain the CD of ‘Ways to Meet a Perfect Neighbor’ (South Korean drama series broadcasted on SBS). He said that he is watching it via satellite but he wanted to recap the episodes he missed.”

Song stated that, “The former diplomat had the satellite dish in his veranda and his entire family was watching South Korean TV. With the expansion of the culture of viewing South Korean TV, Kim Jong Il issued a ban, which is making everyone a bit nervous.”

He said, “If they get caught watching South Korean TV, the family could suffer.” He also added, “Because he was a former diplomat, who was used to living overseas and the life abroad, it was difficult for him to resist the temptation of watching South Korean TV and foreign news. I’m sure it’s the same way for all people.”

Song stated that, “The satellite dish is imported through China to North Korea. The most recently produced satellite dish is quite small in size and China takes care of the maintenance so all they have to do in North Korea is connect it to the TV.”

Kang Myung Gil (pseudonym), a South Korean businessman selling regular satellite antenna and satellite broadcasting Skylife on commission in Dandong, China, explained over the phone that, “The normal satellite antenna (antenna and receiver) costs 600 Yuan (approx. USD86) in total, including the installation costs. We are also receiving the service of Koreasat Mugunghwa 2 which can be received from North Korea as well.”

Kang said that, “There is no technical difficulty in receiving South Korean TV if they are on an elevated apartment with spacious veranda heading the Southern direction. All of the 7-8 channels including KBS1, KBS2, SBS, MBC, EBS, China HAO TV and others can be directly received.”

Jin Hee Myung (pseudonym), an Chinese emigrant originally from Shinuiju, also installed satellite broadcasting service in her apartment. He said that even though overseas Chinese are also under surveillance, they do not receive as harsh of treatment by the North Korean authorities.

He added, “My wife loves to watch South Korean drama so much that I had to risk the consequences and install it. The satellite dish is so small that unless our house is searched thoroughly, there is no worry of being caught.”

In North Korea, if one is caught watching South Korean TV for a long time, they may be put into jail or receive harsh punishments. However, it is the experts’ general analysis that with the expansion of foreign cultures, it will be more difficult for North Korea to control this trend.


Comments are closed.