RADIO IN KOREA
American Forces Korea Network Provides Security, Information, Education, And Entertainment
Pacific Stars and Stripes April 25, 1953
By PFC John Sack, Pacific Star and Stripes Korea Bureau
TEN-THOUSAND MEN were listening to the radio a few months ago when it went off the air. "We are going off the air," said the announcer. "We will be back in three hours." Then he picked up his mikes, discs, "pets," tapes, and antennas and threw them all in a van, and moved lock, stock and barrel five miles down the road.
"It was the damned artillery," he explained later. "Kept jiggling the phonograph needle."
Short-wave is one source of AFKN programs. Transcriptions from the States are another. Each station has 20 or 30 thousand records too, for disc jockey shows. "Mail from Home," incidentally -- where people in America request songs to be played in Korea -- is the network's most popular show.
But AFKN has the most fun making programs of its own. PFC Bert States, head of production, has carried his tape recorders from orphanages to the frontlines and once, for a story on VD, hid a microphone in his field jacket while a street-walker took him in tow. Pvt. Kemal Kasem has been working one month on a jet pilot documentary. Kasem used to appear in "The Lone Ranger" before he joined the Army (a sample speech, in husky, sinister tones: "OK, if you know who the masked man is, we'll get it from you. If you don't know, we'll find out for ourselves."), but last week he was interested only in getting his sound effects down perfect.