Fiona Bruce MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea, today welcomed the announcement by the BBC to set up a daily broadcasting programme into North Korea:
This is a hugely positive development, and follows lengthy campaigning by Members of Parliament and others, and it is heartening that the BBC has listened to calls over the past few years to engage with the oppressed people of North Korea in this way. North Korea is the most persecuted country on earth; its human rights violations are without parallel in the 21st century – as documented in the recent UN Commission of Inquiry chaired by Mr Justice Kirby – with hundreds of thousands of its own people incarcerated in concentration camps, many for speaking even briefly in opposition to their government.
The example of unfettered free speech, and the picture of an outside world, which the BBC has offered to oppressed societies across decades is unparalleled, and has had real impact in how helping to change them. As we have heard from testimonies of those who lived in the Soviet Union, East Germany, Romania and Burma – broadcasting into those countries from the BBC encouraged and inspired millions during their darkest days to understand what a free society looks like, and educated many for future leadership.Over recent years advancements in new technologies mean that increasingly the information blockade in North Korea which has enabled the Government there to keep a stranglehold on their people’s understanding and thought-processes is cracking – and broadcasting by the BBC has the potential to make this crack a huge fissure – let us hope it is the beginning of the end of over sixty years of suffering for the North Korean people.