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Posts by Martyn Williams
Daum has launched a North Korean mapping service, becoming the first South Korean portal to offer maps of the country’s northern neighbor.
The maps are based on data from South Korea’s National Geographic Information Institute (NGII) and, according to local media, provide greater coverage of North Korea than Google Maps.
You can check the maps out for yourself on Daum’s mapping site.
The NGII’s data was previously available to South Korean government agencies and went on sale to the public in mid 2013. NGII offered the map, produced at a 1:25,000 scale, for 17,500 won (US$17).
It covers all of North Korea, detailing towns, roads, railways More >
South Korea’s top court has upheld the acquittal of a free-speech activist for retweeting North Korean tweets, according to several local media reports.
Park Jung-geun, a Seoul-based photographer, was arrested under the country’s anti-communist National Security Law for a series of tweets posted in late 2010 and early 2011. They included retweets from Uriminzokkiri, a China-based website with close links to the regime in Pyongyang, and some in which Park had substituted his own face in revolutionary imagery (see below).
A closer look at the programming reveals it wasn’t the only part of the newscast that was given a new look.
The newspaper review, which is a staple of the early evening 5pm bulletin, also has a new graphics package and a much lighter musical intro.
The new graphics also give more prominent placement to the names of the country’s four main newspapers:
Rodong Sinmun (로동신문)
Minju Joson (민주조선)
Youth Vanguard (청년전위)
Pyongyang Sinmun (평양신문)
The content of the newspaper is however, not changed. It’s still a rundown of the More >
Ja Song Nam, the DPRK’s ambassador to the U.N. sent a letter earlier this week to the president of the Security Council protesting the exercise, which is due to begin this weekend and involves thousands of troops in a large-scale computer simulation of a military action on the Korean peninsula.
Calling them “dangerous joint military exercises,” Ja wrote, “The United States-south [sic] Korea joint military exercises, including the ‘Ulji Freedom Guardian’, are by no means annual or routine exercises of a “defensive nature” but are More >
As a computer-based war-game, the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise that begins this week in South Korea requires lots and lots of computers.
In pictures released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Defense, some of those computers and the complexity of the set-up can be seen. The images and a video show the inside of the Joint Operations Center for the exercise. It was built by the U.S. I Corps and Third Army of South Korea.
A North Korean state IT company has approached Russia’s Information and Computer Technologies Industry Association (APKIT) proposing a greater working relationship with Russian IT companies.
The country apparently wants to win business from Russian companies and the Pyongyang Kwangmyong IT Corp. held talks with APKIT in July and August, according to the APKIT.
As part of those talks, the North Korean company proposed a number of areas of collaboration and provided details of the skills possessed by its staff in Pyongyang. Those documents were seen by North Korea Tech.
The U.S. Department of Defense has released the first photos from the 10-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2014 joint military exercise that has just begun in South Korea.
The computer-based exercise simulates South Korean defense of a North Korean attack and, not surprisingly, have North Korea angry.
The daily Rodong Sinmun wrote, “It is foolish and ridiculous if the U.S. and south Korean puppet forces calculate that they will get something through provocative Ulji Freedom Guardian joint military exercises against the DPRK,” and said they won’t achieve anything. The editorial came a couple of weeks after the newspaper said North Korea’s own military exercises More >
North Korea’s main evening news bulletin has a new look.
Korean Central Television has updated the opening sequence of the 8pm evening news program for the first time since September 2012.
The new graphics begin with a map of the world, zooming into the DPRK and then a wall of clips from the station’s news programming including one of the country’s mass parades, a rocket launch, scenes from farming and industry, and several sports.
Here what the versions used until September 2012 and after that time looked like:
And here’s video of the new More >
Last week I wrote about the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations on U.S. carriers or aircraft using North Korean airspace. They prohibit flight in most of the skies controlled by Pyongyang but allow it — with caution — in a portion east of 132 degrees East latitude.
The ban is in place because of North Korea’s unpredictable short- and medium-range missile launches and uncertainties over just how good the coordination is between civil air traffic controllers and the military. The rules are in place to avoid an aircraft getting shot down, either by mistake or due to a misunderstanding.
So, I decided to More >
Speaking during a news conference at The Pentagon on Tuesday, Admiral Sam Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, said he was concerned that the international community was becoming “numb” to them.
“Over and over and over again, you see it and you become somewhat numb to it, immune to it, and you start to say, well, it’s not such a big deal,” he said.
North Korea has fired a number of missiles from bases across the country into the More >