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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Kim Seong Min

Interviewed June 23, 2024

I think civilization is one aspect of technology. When we talk about devices like radio, television, recorders, and cameras we could refer to them as “technological civilization.”

North Korea actually started manufacturing colored TVs in the 1970s, so in terms of technological advances, these kinds of things may not be something new to North Koreans. But when we refer to the kind of outside news and information that these devices can carry, then it becomes an entirely different story.

North Korea maintains its regime by controlling the flow of information out and in. The North Korean regime has always tried to hide the fact that South Koreans are well off and affluent.

They also tell the North Korean people that they have to develop nuclear weapons to rescue the poor South Koreans. Since radio and TV started transmitting the realities of the outside world to North Koreans, it has led to meaningful change.

For example, if one leaflet [providing information about life in the outside world] flies into North Korea from the South, its impact is immense compared to 10 or 20 years ago.

This is because North Koreans have gone through economic difficulties and starvation for two decades. Also, many North Koreans have started distrusting the regime and rely more heavily on themselves.