Voice of the Martyrs Korea today announced a new shortwave radio broadcast into North Korea, to begin airing September 1.
According to Voice of the Martyrs Korea Representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, the new 30–minute broadcast will bring the ministry’s total number of daily broadcasts into North Korea to five. Four of the broadcasts are via short wave radio and one is via medium wave (AM) radio. All five programs are broadcast into North Korea from outside of South Korea.
Representative Foley says that the content of all five daily broadcasts is the same: Readings of the North Korean dialect Chosun Bible by North Korean voice actors, sermons from early Korean Christians, and hymns that are popular among North Korean underground Christians, sung by North Koreans.
“We do not publicly announce the radio frequencies or broadcast times for security reasons,” says Representative Foley, “And we regularly change the radio frequencies and broadcast times in order to address jamming efforts. But no one in North Korea will have a difficult time finding this new broadcast, since like our other daily programs, this additional broadcast will be aired on a strong frequency.”
Representative Foley says that the new broadcast, which will air at a different time of day than the ministry’s other four broadcasts to North Korea, will enable the ministry to reach a new audience.
“Since we began broadcasting in 2005, we have continued to research listening patterns by talking to North Koreans wherever they are found. Our research causes us to conclude that North Koreans remain avid radio listeners. This additional airing is scheduled during the most popular time of day for listening in which we have not previously broadcast.”
Representative Foley says that the target audience of all of the ministry’s broadcasts is underground North Korean Christians.
“Our content is not politics, current events, K-Pop, information about South Korean life, or sermons from South Korean pastors. It is Bible. It is sermons preached from before there was a South Korea and a North Korea. The content is timeless and precious. The purpose is Christian discipleship, not defection.” Representative Foley says that Voice of the Martyrs Korea has received confidential reports from radio industry sources that as many as 10% of the North Korean population may have been exposed to its broadcasts. Representative Foley says that North Korean defectors arriving in South Korea will sometimes comment to her about the broadcasts. “Many prefer the political broadcasts,” she says. “But it is interesting to note that the Christian broadcasts are consistently among the most jammed by the authorities.”
A North Korean voice actor is outfitted with headphones in preparation for recording a section of the Bible to be broadcast on Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s daily radio broadcast.
A North Korean voice actor prepares to record a section of the Chosun Bible.
Representative Foley said that the ministry was not deterred or discouraged by the statement from the Ministry of Unification’s August 11 comments that it won’t rule out action against radio stations broadcasting into North Korea. “In the Bible, Jesus says, ‘As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.’ We need to get this precious Bible content into North Korea today,” says Representative Foley. “We can’t worry about tomorrow.”
Individuals interested in hearing the Voice of the Martyrs Korea daily radio broadcasts into North Korea can listen online, at http://www.podbbang.com/ch/1768188. More information about Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s North Korea radio broadcasts is available at www.vomkorea.com/radio. Individuals interested in helping to prepare the broadcasts can contact Voice of the Martyrs Korea at 02-2065-0703.