WASHINGTON, Jan. 15--In response to escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Radio Free Asia (RFA) will double its Korean-language broadcasting to North Korea effective Thursday.

RFA President Richard Richter said RFA's North Korean listeners "have demonstrated extraordinary ingenuity to secretly hear our broadcasts, and we are pleased that we can now provide them with more programs to help satisfy their hunger for news from outside their closed society."

RFA Korean-language broadcasting to North Korea will increase Thursday, Jan. 16, from two hours to four hours daily. The expanded broadcasts were authorized this month by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), in response to rising tensions related to Pyongyang's decision to openly resume its nuclear program.

RFA's shortwave broadcasts in Korean may now be heard from 1400-1700 UTC and 2200-2300 UTC in North Korea and much of North Asia. They are also available at www.rfa.org.

The Korean service, one of RFA's nine language services, went on the air on March 4, 1997. It broadcasts seven days a week on nine shortwave frequencies. Programming includes news, cultural reporting, and commentary. The Korean service currently comprises a Washington-based staff of 12, bureaus in Seoul and Tokyo, and stringers around the world.

RFA broadcasts news and information to Asian listeners who lack regular access to full and balanced reporting in their domestic media. Through its broadcasts and call-in programs, RFA aims to fill a critical gap in the lives of people across Asia. Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA currently broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Mandarin, the Wu dialect, Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo, and Kham), and Uyghur. It adheres to the highest standards of journalism and aims to exemplify accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content.


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