Columnist says Radio Free Asia Korean "is facing an immediate budget cut (updated)."

Posted: 30 Sep 2010   Print   Send a link
Wall Street Journal, 26 Sept 2010, Christian Whiton: "A political warfare strategy also would involve empowering North Korean people. In a closed society like North Korea, the best way to do this is by giving them access to information. Broadcasts into North Korea help undermine Pyongyang's censorship, inspire North Koreans, and increasingly provide information to the outside world about the North. Unfortunately, Radio Free Asia's Korean service is facing an immediate budget cut, and a large reduction in transmission funding is expected for next year. More critically, the State Department cut off new funding for Free North Korea Radio, whose network and defector-led broadcasts are perhaps the most effective of all." -- This is the first I have heard of any budget cut for RFA Korean. Given the present importance of North Korea to US foreign policy, I would be surprised if such a plan exists. RFA and VOA (unmentioned) each broadcast in Korean five hours a day, not concurrently, for a total of ten hours USIB output per day. Any expansion would get into sleeping or working hours in North Korea. Is Free North Korea Radio funded by the State Department, or by the National Endowment for Democracy?

Update: Responding to a question at the Radio Free Europe 60th anniversary event (see subsequent post), RFA president Libby Liu explained that under the continuing resolution, by which the US government is soon to be funded, the earmark for enhanced North Korean coverage by RFA will no longer be available.