A source in Dandong has told Radio Free Asia that North Korea has increased their attempts to jam foreign radio broadcasts in the country since the beginning of the month. Although the jamming of foreign broadcasts is common, the source said that it has intensified during the period on the run-up to the death of Kim Jong Il.
The source in the North Korean/Chinese border city said that, “Listening to RFA [Radio Free Asia] and VOA [Voice of America] is almost impossible due to static, which has continued since the first of this month.” The clamping down on foreign broadcasts is the latest in a long list of efforts to restrict citizens’ activities in the mourning period.
As reported in many media sources, the regime has attempted to stop travel inside and outside of the country. They have also rigorously worked to restrict cross-border trading. The latter of these clampdowns was seemingly reversed for a short while after complaints by citizens.
Two other sources, one in China’s Jilin province and one that had been living in the North Korean city of Sinuiju, corroborated the news from the source in Dandong. According to the source in Jilin province, Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) was becoming difficult to hear. The North Korean that recently moved from Sinuiju to China said that the North’s attempts to jam foreign broadcasting were having implications on Chinese radio broadcasters.
China Radio International broadcasts were being interfered with inside China according to the ex-resident of Sinuiju. He told Radio Free Asia that the “broadcasting used to have better sound quality than anything coming from South Korea, but they are now hard to hear because North Korea’s National Security Department is sending jamming signals.”
Although the attempts at blocking foreign radio broadcasts are ubiquitous in North Korea, the sources believed that there would be a relaxation in the regime’s clamping down after the mourning period ended this month.