Monday, November 22, 2010

Korea's North-South Digital Divide: Cracks in an Orwellian Paradise

The overarching political problem in Korea today, the continuing tragedy of national division, also makes the digital divide between North and South the largest such divide existing in any country or bordering countries in the world.  I've been interested in national division as a digital divide for a long time, at least since my 1995 book, The Telecommunications Revolution in Korea was published, and have posted on it in this blog.
There are at least two major aspects to the North-South digital divide in Korea.  The first is the growing disparity in digital communications infrastructure between the two countries.  The growing infrastructure disparity has many implications, including important ones for the cost of unification.  The second aspect of the digital divide on the Korean peninsula is the vast political or democratic divide that has developed.
Andrei Lankov, an astute observer of North Korean affairs, devotes an article in The Korea Times  to an exploration of how the government in North Korea has attempted to insulate its population from outside information.  He tells an interesting part of the tragic story, and it is worth reading.

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