Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ted S. Yoho (R-FL), Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, introduced the Distribution and Promotion of Rights and Knowledge Act of 2017 – HR 2397. This bipartisan legislation has the support of Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA).

“North Korea severely limits access to information.  In fact, receiving unauthorized broadcasts in North Korea can get you the death sentence.  U.S.-backed broadcasts into the country let brave North Koreans learn the truth about their tyrannical leader and hear news from the outside world,” Chairman Royce said.  “I applaud Asia Subcommittee Chairman Yoho for introducing this important legislation to support new ways for North Koreans to access this information.  I’ve long said that increased broadcasting into North Korea must be part of any strategy to address the urgent threats from the Kim Jong Un regime.”

Similar to the United States successful efforts during the Cold War with the former Soviet bloc, The North Korea Human Rights Act (NKHRA) of 2004 authorized funding for radio broadcasting programs to deliver basic knowledge of the outside world to the people of North Korea. Thirteen years have passed since the 2004 NKHRA, and there have been substantial technological improvements to broadcasting and distribution of information. The Distribution and Promotion of Rights and Knowledge Act of 2017 (HR 2397) would update this program.

“I want to thank Chairman Royce for his support of the Distribution and Promotion of Rights and Knowledge Act of 2017. This bill will directly counter the North Korean regime by providing new technologies, improved content, and greater access of information to empower the people of North Korea. Knowledge is power—especially in one of the most secretive and secluded societies on earth, where 24 million people are prevented from gaining true understanding of their sad reality,” Chairman Yoho said.  “Kim has every intention to advance his nuclear program—posing a direct threat to U.S. national security. The people of North Korea are inundated with propaganda stating that their hardships are a direct result of U.S. hostility, and that nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles are necessary to keep their enemies at bay. This bill will reinforce our ability to underscore the hypocrisy and brutality of the Kim Jong Un regime, breaking his monopoly on information.”