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BBC Mulling News Service to N. Korea

FILE - A propaganda billboard, which reads "Forward to the Ultimate Victory" in Korean is seen standing in central Kaesong, North Korea.

The British Broadcasting Corporation is considering news service to North Korea.

But in an e-mail to the VOA Korean service, BBC International Communications chief Charlotte Morgan said there are “significant barriers” to a viable news service in the communist country that include lack of Internet access and strict media controls.

Last week, James Harding, BBC News and Current Affairs Director, released a “Future of News” report that mentioned the emergence of audiences of need. The report said the BBC World Service found the need "to provide independent, reliable information to people who sorely need it is growing.”

The broadcaster closed five World Service language operations in 2011. The latest “Future of News” report wants that trend reversed.

In 2013, BBC considered adding a Korean service to broadcast to North Korea. The plan was scrapped due to limitations to direct transmission by a foreign broadcaster from South Korea.

VOA has broadcast in Korean since 1942. The governments of South Korea, Japan, China and Russia also provide Korean language programing for people in North Korea.

Jee Abbey Lee contributed to this report, which was produced in collaboration with VOA's Korean Service.