Guest post: How loudspeaker propaganda conducted by South Korea against North Korea works
People usually think all that the loudspeakers play are k-pop songs and downright propaganda. If you look more into it, the loudspeakers are a carefully crafted psychological warfare. The initial announcements start with weather reports. Accurate weather reports that the NK neither has the manpower nor the computing power to gather and spread along the DMZ. This naturally convinces the NK soldiers to rely on the loudspeakers, if not for news and entertainment, for the weather. After some time, we can literally announce “DPRK soldiers, heavy rain is expected to fall in the evening, so please gather your laundry from the clotheslines” and they will come out of their little posts and start gathering their laundry. This is a good rapport. Then comes just vanilla news. Maybe the results of a soccer match or something that happened overseas. They might not believe it, but they’ll find out in a week or when they read or hear it on some DPRK state media. They then subconsciously establish that the loudspeakers have fast, accurate news. Besides, the general NK population and common soldiers rarely ever get international news, if at all. So any international news is mindblowing, to begin with. Then the loudspeakers broadcast NK news. For example, they’ll report that General X, Y, and Z were executed by their glorious leader KJU for whatever petty reason he kills people for. There is a good chance many soldiers at this point would write this off as propaganda, but when they eventually hear about it through their own channels, that Gen. X, Y, and Z actually were executed for treason or whatever, you’re starting to fuck with their minds. Then we tell them how fucked up and idiotic the Kim family have been and are. Another crucial function of these broadcasts is they report news that the DPRK state media censors. And this is absolutely critical and what bugs NK the most. For example, there was a huge explosion at an NK train station in 2004. Naturally, NK censored the event. But the loudspeakers reported on the event, and soldiers at the DMZ wrote home asking if everyone was alright since the explosion was so huge. The loudspeakers nullified NK media censorship just like that. Then they play k-pop songs in between the news for entertainment. And this cultural infiltration is so effective, NK soldiers literally sing these k-pop songs to congratulate fellow soldiers when they’re done with their service. And mind you, singing those kinds of songs in Pyongyang can put you in a concentration camp in a heartbeat. The loudspeakers reach about 7~8 miles during the daytime, which definitely covers the DMZ, and at night can reach up to 15~18 miles, which reaches Kaesong (home to the Kaesong Co-op industrial complex), a pretty large city that has a pretty sizeable civilian population (approx. 200,000). Hundreds of soldiers and thousands of civilians that have defected have cited the loudspeakers as a crucial role in their decision to come south, and NK absolutely despises the loudspeakers because it is such an effective tool against their soldiers, and naturally disrupts their populace by bypassing their media censorship. It offends them off so much, they are willing to fire 2 rockets across the DMZ and have previously demanded a complete stop to these loudspeakers in 48 hours or risk total war.
How this applies to Encyclosphere strategy:
At least initially the Encyclosphere should provide reliable practical information that has nothing to do with political activism or politically sensitive topics. This can be used to build trust for the Encyclosphere knowledge feed. Politically sensitive topics should only be encouraged later after widespread adoption and the knowledge feed protocol should have mechanisms in place to circumvent future censorship of politically incorrect knowledge.