North Korea profile - Media
- 21 January 2013
- From the section Asia
Radio and TV sets in North Korea are pre-tuned to government stations that pump out a steady stream of propaganda.
The press and broadcasters - all of them under direct state control - serve up a menu of flattering reports about North Korea's leader. Economic hardship and famines are not reported. North Korea is one of the hardest countries for foreign media to cover.
Ordinary North Koreans caught listening to foreign broadcasts risk harsh punishments, such as forced labour. The authorities attempt to jam foreign-based and dissident radio stations.
A glimmer of hope, says watchdog Reporters Without Borders, is the "communications black market" on the North Korean-Chinese border where recordings of South Korean TV soaps and films are said to circulate.
North Korea has a minimal internet presence. News agency KCNA and the party newspaper Rodong Sinmun are among a handful of official sites. Their output is aimed largely at audiences outside North Korea.
Uriminzikkiri, a site hosted in China, carries news from official North Korean sources. It operates accounts on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
Online access within North Korea is exceedingly rare and limited to sites that comprise the domestic intranet, says OpenNet Initiative. Content is chosen, and user activity monitored, by the authorities.
North Korea is one of RSF's "Enemies of the Internet". North Korean journalists are active on blog sites hosted in Japan and South Korea, the organisation says.
A South Korean newspaper has said the North is believed to employ up to 1,000 hackers targeting other nations.
There is a 3G mobile phone service - a joint venture with an Egyptian firm. Take-up has proved popular among wealthier citizens in Pyongyang.
In 2013, officials loosened some curbs by allowing visitors to bring their mobile phones into North Korea. But mobile phone calls between foreigners and locals are prohibited.
Rodong Sinmun (Labour Daily) - organ of Korean Workers' Party; web pages in English
Joson Inmingun (Korean People's Army Daily)
Minju Choson (Democratic Korea) - government organ
Rodongja Sinmum (Workers' Newspaper) - organ of trade union federation
Television and radio
Korean Central Broadcasting Station - radio station of Korean Workers' Party
Korean Central TV - TV station of Korean Workers' Party
Mansudae TV - cultural station
Voice of Korea - state-run external service, via shortwave radio; web pages in several languages
Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) - state-run; web pages in several languages
Uriminzokkiri (On Our Own) - website carrying official news; pages in several languages