Arirang Radio to Go On Air in U.S.

Korean English-language radio station Arirang Radio, operated by Arirang TV, will start airing programs through SiriusXM Radio in the U.S. on Thursday. SiriusXM is a subscription satellite radio station with over 200 channels and 22.5 million subscribers.

Seven Arirang Radio programs will be aired on channel 144 for 11 hours a day.

Sohn Jie-ae Sohn Jie-ae

Arirang TV CEO Sohn Jie-ae (49) said it is the first Asian channel on an American radio station. "As soon as I heard that SiriusXM will launch a service called 'Korea Today,' I tried to get Arirang Radio's programs broadcast there," she said.

She said when she was the Seoul bureau chief for CNN, she felt it was a pity that Americans knew so little about the country. "Americans didn't know much about Korea. When they thought of Korea, the first thing that came to mind was North Korea, and when the North was quiet, we didn't have much to write about. I thought that was a pity since the country boasts advanced technology and there is a lot of noteworthy culture."

Arirang Radio makes programs about anything from Korean classical music to travel and K-pop. Sohn wants to focus on introducing Korean classical music, popular culture and good places to visit and improving the image of Korean products.

"At first I wasn't sure it would succeed. But we are seeing encouraging potential since we are already getting many requests to play a lot of K-pop," she said. "We will work hard to make the channel popular."

Arirang Radio will also make the most of popular websites like YouTube and Facebook to promote its programs as a window on Korea and bring out a smartphone app "so everyone can easily watch and listen to Arirang's programs overseas," she added.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 11, 2012 13:36 KST