Published : 2013-01-03 20:24
Updated : 2013-01-03 20:24
The BBC World Service is considering broadcast programs targeting North Korean people, according to news reports.
Washington has requested the U.K. government to back the plan to help open up the reclusive country to the outside world, Independent newspaper and Yonhap News reported.
Barack Obama’s administration is encouraging the Foreign Office to back plans to establish a BBC Korean service to help open up the most secret country on earth.
The officials believe “the BBC’s reputation for impartiality could help build up trust with the communist state’s 24 million population,” the British newspaper said.
The U.S.-run networks Voice of America and Radio Free Asia already broadcast into the North.
Peter Horrocks, the head of the BBC World Service, would discuss the matter with MPs from the All Party Group on North Korea early this month.
The newspaper quoted officials involved in the matter that U.S. State Department officials are very positive about the idea of establishing BBC World Service for North Korea for the first time.
The World Service transmits to 188 million in 27 countries. It has never operated for North Korea due to the communist country’s oppression of media and the small size of the audience, according to the reports.
North Koreans are increasingly exposed to foreign media. A recent survey of defectors showed that 14 percent had listened to RFA, 11.6 percent to VOA and 6 percent to South Korean radio.
Lord Alton said he hoped discussions would take place with new South Korean president Park Geun-hye’s administration to explore the possibility of the BBC broadcasting from Seoul.
Lord Alton, who leads the All Party Group, was quoted as saying he hoped to meet President-elect Park Geun-hye’s new government to discuss the possibility of transmitting the programs from Seoul, which currently does not allow foreign broadcasters to operate in the country. VOA and RFA operate from Russia.