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U.S. envoy calls for making outside information available to N. Koreans

All News 11:45 October 13, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- A top U.S. official on the North's human rights Thursday stressed the need to get North Koreans to gain greater access to outside information as the move will help them recognize the reality of their regime.

"The success of the (North Korean) regime in maintaining controls and suppressing its population is very much related to its ability to control media and access to information," Ambassador Robert King told a forum on North Korea's human rights.

"There is hunger for information. We need to continue to provide information to North Korean people so that they will know what's happening in the world," he said.

His remarks came as the U.S. government is known to have submitted a report to Congress that lays out a strategy to make more information available to North Koreans.

It set forth "a detailed plan for making unrestricted, unmonitored and inexpensive electronic mass communications available" to North Koreans, which is believed to refer to such small devices as radios, USB drives and DVDs.

The report is the latest in a series of measures by Washington to increase pressure on Pyongyang over its human rights abuses.

North Korea is cracking down on smuggled DVDs containing South Korean movies and dramas as more North Koreans are surreptitiously getting outside information through these means.

"It is not easy to get information in there. ... But we need to focus on identifying ways to get information into North Korea," he added.

The communist country has long been labeled as one of the worst human rights violators in the world. Pyongyang has bristled at such criticism, calling it a U.S.-led attempt to topple its regime

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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