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North Korea: Witness to Transformation

Bomb ‘em with the Crop Report

by | October 20th, 2013 | 06:51 am

Political commentary is fine, but I’ve always thought that the crop report should be at the top of the list of what we beam into North Korea. The lot of farmers could be improved significantly if they had access to accurate real time information on weather and crop prices in different locations. Want people to pay attention to what you say? First, build some credibility with news you can use. Jack Rendler recently confirmed my dirt farmer biases when he passed along a piece from the “human scum” over at New Focus International, “A South Korean television programme loved and trusted by North Koreans.” That program?  The weather report.

According to the piece, both the television programs and radio broadcasts are especially popular with people living in coastal regions, particularly fishermen. The watermen regard the South Korean forecasts as superior to their own, and an unnamed refugee quoted in the piece suggested that the North Korean navy may even secretly monitor the South Korean weather reports.

With innovations in information technology it should be possible not only to send in radio and television signals, but start making use of the capabilities of the smartphones to which North Koreans have increasing access. DOD spent billions developing and applying such communications technology over the past decade. Some of that capability should be directed at North Korea. Bomb ‘em with the crop report.

In the meantime, 2 hours of Weather Report: