A few weeks ago during my most recent trip to Seoul, I came into the VOM Korea office on everyone’s day off expecting to quietly work on a few things. No sooner had I sat down at the desk, when four people came through our office door. These four individuals were a mix of staff and volunteers, and they were at the office to record our broadcasts which are nightly sent into North Korea.
VOM Korea provides North Korean Christians with one of the strongest (200kW) shortwave radio signals into North Korea for 90 minutes every night, reaching an estimated 2 million listeners according to independent surveys.
North Korean defectors, living in South Korea, testify to the effectiveness of broadcasts like ours. They feel so strongly about it that we regularly have NK volunteers who use their voices and the radio waves to reach their friends and family members back in NK.
One of our newest volunteers is a 67 year old woman from North Korea. She has helped us with the editing of our new NK Parallel/Study Bible since January. In the process of getting to know her better, we found out that she attended one of the top universities in NK and it was her dream as a young woman to be involved in broadcasting in NK. However, she was forced by NK to either study literature or become a teacher and her dream was never realized. Fast forward to today and look at the picture above- DL is now doing exactly what NK wanted to keep her from doing. Only now, she is not broadcasting to proclaim the praise of Kim Il Sung, but rather broadcasting to proclaim the gospel for the glory of God! Just as Joseph told his brothers in Genesis 50:20, DL can also say with compassion to those who wronged her,
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Through the help of volunteers like DL, we’ve learned that media is changing in NK. TV news broadcasting in NK has more of the sound of our old style broadcast but radio broadcasting in NK is using warmer personal voices these days. Our broadcast is pioneering the use of a combined NK/SK announcing corps, with NKs and SKs interacting about the Bible and the Christian faith in friendly voices. It’s very revolutionary and we think it will attract a wider range of listeners.
Listen to a sample of one of our old broadcasts.
Listen to a sample of our new broadcasts. Make sure to listen past the one minute mark!
We are also excited to be broadcasting between program segments the new NK hymns that were recorded as part of last year’s Hymnal Project. These songs were recorded in the traditional NK style and sung by former members of art performance teams in North Korea. We expect that their traditional voices will touch North Koreans’ hearts through the North Korean classical style hymns.
Listen to the North Korea version of Amazing Grace.
Listen to the North Korean version of As the Deer.
Listen to the North Korean version of God is so Good.
Please join me in praying for DL, the new volunteer mentioned above. She still has many hurts, including a son who is in a concentration camp in NK. Also pray for the clear reception of the radio signal in NK and unsuccessful jamming attempts by the government.