SEOUL - North Koreans are so keen to consume overseas media that they take life-threatening risks to do so, a survey clandestinely conducted among respondents in the deeply isolated state and published this week has found.

Despite – or perhaps because of – the ongoing ultra-tight border closure instituted as a result of Covid-19, North Koreans want to learn about the wider world and are coming up with ingenious technological countermeasures to access external information, the survey notes.

The survey was conducted from June to August this year among 50 North Koreans who live in different parts of the country by the Unification Media Group, or UMG. UMG operates Seoul-based Daily NK, a niche media outlet whose reporters obtain on-the-ground information from sources inside North Korea and secretly smuggle it out on smartphones.