North Korea

Fighting North Korea’s Oppression Using Old Flash Drives


The oppressive and despotic regime in Kim Jong Un’s North Korea has been pushing all of the wrong buttons on the world stage as of late.

The isolationist nation has not only been consistently conducting illegal ballistic missile tests and nuclear weapons research that has landed them on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s bad side, but Kim Jong Un’s government has been accused of heinous crimes against humanity by a bevy of defectors.

Now, in an attempt to destabilize the tyrannical leadership of North Korea, a human rights organization is mobilizing all of your old flash drives to smuggle some freedom, and knowledge of the outside world right to Kim Jong Un’s doorstep.

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“A joint initiative between the Human Rights Foundation and Forum 280 is collecting donated flash drives to be erased and then loaded up with films, e-books and other content from the outside world to eventually be smuggled into North Korea, where citizens will covertly watch in groups. Flash Drives for Freedom, which began as a way to disseminate Western blockbusters and South Korean television, has morphed into a marketplace of documentaries and educational content – with the hope of sparking an intellectual revolution down the line.

“’It started with the South Korean soap operas and the big budget Hollywood hits, but the market for that sort of thing has almost become saturated,’ Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer for the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, told The Post of Flash Drives for Freedom. ‘At this point, they’ve seen the bigger entertainment stuff. Now they want to see the documentaries – they want to watch about the fall of the Soviet Union, the Arab Spring. That’s the kind of direction they’re going in.’”

“The effort to get content on flash drives into North Korea has been going on since 2009, primarily through defectors from the hermetic country, but response to the initiative’s booth at the South by Southwest film and music festival this week has been “pretty amazing,” Gladstein said.”

Undermining Pyongyang’s stranglehold on North Korean culture could be the first step toward liberating the oppressed subject of Kim Jong Un’s God-like rule.  Given the absolutely horrific stories coming from within the nation, including tales of forced labor camps that make Auschwitz look like a grade school playground, no effort to free the North Korean people should go unattempted.


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