An editorial in The New York Times, “North Korea’s Defiance,” advises that “the United States should invest more in Radio Free Asia so that more outside information could reach North Korea’s people.” The article further states that “still, it should keep seeking dialogue. No good comes from ignoring North Korea.”
BBG Watch fully agrees. Specialized reporting by Radio Free Asia (RFA) and other surrogate broadcasters to countries facing severe state censorship and human rights abuses is too important to be undermined by attempts of Washington bureaucrats to centrally control such U.S. government-funded broadcasting organizations and to deny them adequate funding.
Surrogate broadcasters like Radio Free Asia (RFA) provide local news content and specialization that other broadcasters, including the Voice of America (VOA), which is important for other reasons, simply cannot offer. Voice of America is important because it offers an authoritative presentation of American policies and opinions, which is critical for countries like North Korea, whose regime is both unpredictable and controls nuclear weapons. Radio Free Asia has a much more focused mission of in reporting on and analyzing internal political, social and economic developments in North Korea. Both missions are important in keeping the population of North Korea informed about both external and internal developments that affect the lives and security of both North Korea and the United States. For countries like North Korea, with no internal free media or political freedoms, Radio Free Asia plays a very important role, as noted in The New York Times editorial.