Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 September 2014, 13:07 GMT

10 Most Censored Countries - North Korea

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 2 May 2012
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, 10 Most Censored Countries - North Korea, 2 May 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/502cb01b2.html [accessed 30 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

2. North Korea

Leadership: Kim Jong Un, who took over when his father Kim Jong Il died in December 2011. His grandfather, Kim Il Sung, ruled North Korea from 1948 until his death in 1994.

How Censorship Works: Nearly all the content of North Korea's 12 main newspapers, 20 periodicals, and broadcasters comes from the official Korean Central News Agency and focuses on the political leadership's statements and supposed activities. Ruling elites have access to the World Wide Web, but the public is limited to a heavily monitored and censored network with no connections to the outside world. While The Associated Press opened a Pyongyang bureau in January 2012 staffed with North Koreans, the AP wasn't granted its own Internet connection and the correspondents have no secure line of communication. A Japan-based media support group, Asiapress, has been giving North Korean volunteers journalism training and video cameras to record daily life in the North. Downloaded onto DVDs or memory sticks, the images are smuggled across the porous border with China and then sent to Japan for broader distribution. Only small numbers of foreign journalists are generally allowed limited access to the country each year, and they must be accompanied everywhere by minders.

Lowlight: KCNA's official version of Kim Jong Il's death said he died on December 19, 2011, of heart failure while traveling by train because of a "great mental and physical strain" during a "high-intensity field inspection." Subsequent analysis of official pronouncements indicates that, wherever he was, Kim most likely died on December 17, and the news was delayed to allow officials to sort out problems of succession.

Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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