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NKSC carried out its media dissemination seminar ‘Information Suppression in North Korea: Overcoming Systems of Control’ on September 25, 2014 at the San Francisco Education Center.

The seminar led by Son Gwang Ju from Daily NK, began with Kang Cheol Hwan’s greetings and remarks from Saenuri congressman Ha Tae Kyung. 

1. 세미나 참석자들

First, Kim Dong Sik from the National Security Research Center and former North Korean spy, shared the information of North Korea’s system of information control. Kim Dong Sik covered the internal and external forms of information repression in the country. He commented, “Sometimes working as a spy they would send me to South Korea to persuade someone for one week to  and then I would come back to North Korea. I would convince people for example  that ‘Kim Jong Il came to Incheon and then went back to Pyongyang’, then people would believe it to be true.”


Second, Jang Sae Yool from the Nation United Front talked how the North Korean government maintained the regime by manipulation information. From children’s materials to university textbooks, all information has been changed to focus on cult adoration of the Kim regime.


The second session of the seminar has presented by Lee Hui Sung a PhD student from Seoul National University who compared the media influence in the Soviet Union and the current situation with North Korea. He addressed during the Soviet Union certain freedom of movement and religion was allowed. This is the contrary case for North Korea. If freedom of religion and movement were permitted in North Korea then there would be higher exchange and flow of information.


The seminar ended with surprise guests Matthew, Justice, and Madison, winners of the North Korea Hackathon carried out in August 2014. Their team created the idea of making satellite phones and TV receivers for the North Korean people to get real-time access to information. The group showed an example of the technology that could be used to create these devices however they needed to be made at a much smaller scale for North Koreans to use it safely. By finding the rights type of investors, this technology could be available within the next few years.