The North Korea Strategy Center has a mission: One of a handful of South Korean NGOs active in North Korea, it is promoting media dissemination in the country. NKSC does so by smuggling thousands of DVDs, USB sticks, radios and SD cards into the Hermit Kingdom. The goal is to increase North Koreans’ awareness of the outside world and to promote a desire for democratic change.
Kiwix made it easier for them. Wikipedia is not propaganda: It collects the sum of all human knowledge and presents it in a neutral manner. In a country where information is state-controlled, it is the most credible material. With Kiwix the Korean Wikipedia becomes readable on any computer, even outdated ones.
Everybody is curious – this is NKSC’s bet. Even soldiers watching the border might get bored and will want to have a look at the odd contraband USB sticks that they will find. They will not find propaganda or anything they could reject out of hand because sent from the South. They will find articles about geography, literature, history, sports and pop culture. They will find knowledge and a different way to see the world than what they learned.
The NKSC is an independent, defector-led organization that utilizes its expertise to empower defectors, promote open information, and advocate for democracy and human rights in North Korea. Supported by the Human Rights Foundation, it has no formal relationship with Kiwix or its members. For more information, see www.nksc.co.kr.