The kind of news North Koreans get is tightly controlled. The regime tells them only propaganda and skewed news about their own country and the outside world. A new plan is trying to slowly get the truth into the country. PHOTO: Nahlah Ayed-CBC

Sending the truth to North Korea, a tiny flash-drive at a time

A group of Canadian university students is helping to break through the tight grip of the North Korean regime, in order to get information to the people.  What they’re using is a little bit of technology, containing a lot of truth about the outside world.

Robert Huish (PhD) professor of International Development Studies at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.


While North Koreans have wide access to computers, they cannot access the outside internet.   All news and information inside the country is strictly controlled, and almost inevitably one-sided.

Professer Robert Huish (PhD) says his students got entusiastically involved in the project. PHOTO- CBC

The campaign to get information into the country about real news of the outside world is called “Flash-drives for Freedom”.

Using USB flash drives to bring news and truth into N Korea from Kung Gwang Il’s Facebook page :No Chain for North Korea”

It involves sending USB flash drives loaded with news, information, music, S Korean TV shows and so on.

Students are encouraged to put new and used USB flash drives into the box. These will later be filled with information about the west and later “floated” to N Korea. PHOTO- CBC

The drives from Dalhousie show how a typical Canadian spends his or her day: grocery shopping, meeting a friend for coffee, attending a hockey game.

The USB’s, and a little money are put into bottles filled with rice near North Korea and float there on the tides where North Korean fishermen can find them.

The USB drives and a bit of US money are hidden in rice filled bottles. These are tossed into the sea from S Korea when the tides will take them into N Korean coastal waters. PHOTO CBC

It is thought the drives will help dispel the propaganised myths about the west as broadcast by the Kim Jong-un’s regime.

A former North Korean who defected after being accused of being a spy for South Korea is the force behind the international campaign.

Jung Gwang Il, spent three years in a prison camp before he managed to escape from N Korea. He was in Canada recently to ask for help for his native country. PHOTO- CBC

Jung Gwang-il who was on a visit recently to Canada to promote the campaign was quoted by the CBC saying. “What the regime fears most is the truth. And if the truth, outside information, is funnelled into North Korea by way of USB, their dictatorship is disarmed.”

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