NORTH KOREA: Now Broadcasting Live

North Korea’s young new leader, Kim Jong-un, has embarked on yet another (relatively) shocking endeavor. The micro-managed state-controlled television company has initiated the occasional live broadcast. Under the late Kim Jong-il, such communication was nonexistent due to a high risk of technical difficulties and “mishaps.” Since his death four months ago, however, the Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station has aired numerous national events live, such as the late Kim Jong-Il’s birthday on Feb 16th and the late Kim Il-Sung’s birthday on April 15th. The efforts are a part of various changes being made to public television in the North, which include brighter background colors and the use of formerly-absent captions and graphics in TV news programs. While undoubtedly a huge step for the desolate nation, the changes have also brought the North’s weaknesses to light, illustrating their almost complete lack of modern broadcasting technology, subsequently allowing for many awkward moments. One such mishap involved a concert that began half an hour after the cameras started rolling, as broadcasters were “waiting for Kim Jong-un’s arrival but [he] was nowhere to be seen.” Perhaps the new leader isn’t as invested in these new developments as we might hope.

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Yonhap News Agency


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