What is the North Korean TV situation like? For an overview, the following testimony from the Anchol brothers will be helpful.
In North Korea, TV broadcast time is about seven hours from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Beginning with the hymns of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, with program guides, and under the wise leadership of Kim Father and Son, our people are on a path of proud victory and glory, and our country is in this world. A recorded movie that says that it is a paradise on earth without envy.
Kindergarten children’s shows have recounted Kim Jong Il’s childhood and must learn from it. At the time of social and cultural life, there is a program of home cooking, which broadcasts knowledge of cultural life.
Then there’s a roundtable of social scientists who praise Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il’s work for being a great masterpiece of the world, and finally airing an art movie. (Anchol Brothers, “North Korea Seen by a Secret Camera”)
North Korean television is naturally used as a propaganda tool. As North Korean defector Park Young-mi explains:
Documentaries and films broadcast on a single state-owned television station also played a role in further strengthening the worship of the Kim family.
Whenever the faces of smiling Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were projected on the screen, the background music that invites sorrowful tears always flowed. I was moved every time.
I have once dreamed of Kim Jong Il. Kim Jong Il hugged me with a smile and gave me candy. I was so happy after waking up, and for a long time, that dream was my happiest memory.
Zhang Jin-sung, a famous North Korean defector and former poet of the North Korean propaganda institution, calls this phenomenon “sensitive dictatorship.”
In North Korea, it is not enough for the government to control people’s actions, education, occupations and remarks.
It also controls the sensibility and emotion, destroys the independence of individuals, and loses the ability to respond to situations based on their own experiences, making the people slaves to the state. Brainwashing begins when the child learns the words (Park Young-mi, “The Choice to Live”)
“Escape from the 14th office” describes the theme song and its lyrics broadcast on national television.
The song “Comrade Song” seems to be the theme song of a popular program of the North Korean state-run television station, but the lyrics sang the travel companions who endured suffering and suffering. “ When we walk together along the long and long path of our lives-we are the worshipers who can withstand the storm and the wind-there is happiness and suffering on that path-we overcome, we endure the storm of life. ” (Brain Harden, Escape from the 14th Office)
What percentage of North Koreans have television? Lankov, a North Korean researcher, explains:
According to the sweetest estimates, the country has about 2 million televisions. This indicates that nearly 50% of North Korean families have television. In the countryside and small cities, only 25 percent of homes have television. (Andrey Lankov, North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea)
The following testimony shows that North Korean television is made in China, and that food conditions have led to an increase in television from urban to rural areas.
Due to the tightness of the food situation, it was possible to buy Chinese black and white TVs such as “Red Plum” and “Chrysanthemum” for 300 to 400 kilograms of corn. Citizens in Pyongyang and Shinyiju began to take home TVs and trade them for grain, so the number of TVs in rural areas increased rapidly. However, the power is so low that you can’t watch TV with a three hundred volt home transformer. (Anchol brothers, op.cit.)
For more information about the chronic lack of power in North Korea, see the article on “Electricity, Electric power“.