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[liberationtech] North Korea Cracks Down "Knowledge Smugglers"

Adrian Hong ahong at
Sat Jan 5 03:50:54 PST 2013

There is more nuance to this than the Salon piece allows for.

North Koreans today know they are not the richest country, and know a great
deal more about the outside world than before. They do not need comparisons
to know they are oppressed.

LibTech that permits them to organize and communicate will be far more
transformational than these DVDs & dramas, as important as they have been.

On Jan 5, 2013, at 12:22 AM, Larry Diamond <ldiamond at> wrote:

Thanks, Nadim.  I could not agree more.  As the article explains, the North
Korean regime is facing an existential crisis because the pillar of their
stability through so much misery has been an absolute monopoly of
information.  That has been decaying for several years and now it is really
starting to crumble.  If they seek to modernize, liberation technology will
accelerate the shocking realization that North Korea is not the richest
country on earth, but one of the most oppressed.  If the regime clings to
isolation, libtech will filter in anyway.  I think the regime is probably
in its last decade.


*From: *"Nadim Kobeissi" <nadim at>
*To: *liberationtech at
*Sent: *Friday, January 4, 2013 12:56:14 PM
*Subject: *[liberationtech] North Korea Cracks Down "Knowledge Smugglers"

I would like to share this truly fascinating article:

>From the article: “We must extend the fight against the enemy’s
ideological and cultural infiltration,” Kim said in an October speech
at the headquarters of his immensely powerful internal security
service. Kim, who became North Korea’s supreme leader after the death
of his father a year ago, called upon his vast security network to
“ruthlessly crush those hostile elements.”

Seeing this idea of "knowledge smugglers" accepted so openly by the
North Korean government really justifies a private train of thought
I've been considering for a year.

I think no matter how hard we try, we keep underestimating just how
powerful culture can be in determining foreign politics — and just how
important the television and radio were, and the Internet is now, in
communicating this culture. This, of course, is likely why so many
political entities are interested in liberation technology.

This is amazing stuff and I hope you'll read the article.

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