Why information dissemination?
Since the end of the Korean War, North Koreans have been told by the North Korean government that the country is surrounded by belligerent and hostile states that are intent on harming them and that the North Korean leadership are benevolent, trusted leaders protecting its people. Despite the abysmal state of the North Korean economy and living conditions, the North Korean government is able to maintain this narrative and the status quo through pervasive information and communication controls that oppress their population, shuttering the North Korean people off from accessing outside information.
However, in spite of the government’s excessive censorship, over the past two decades North Koreans’ access to outside information has actually steadily increased. Nowadays, the majority of defectors who escape recall having accessed foreign media while still living in North Korea – despite it being prohibited by the government. North Koreans are actively seeking and sharing foreign information and media, and in doing so, they are fomenting small, yet important, social changes. In this way, the North Korean people are leading change in North Korea.