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Posts by Martyn Williams
North Korea strongly denied again on Sunday having anything to do with unmanned aircraft discovered crashed on the South Korean side of the inter-Korean border.
Last week, the South Korean government said it had concluded an investigation into the incident and concluded the three drones were launched from North Korea.
Among its evidence, Seoul said the onboard computer contained a program to fly from North Korea over the south and then back again.
North Korea’s National Defence Commission, through an article sent on the official Korean Central News Agency, called the investigation a “farce” and said it had been implicated to “do harm to its fellow countrymen in the north and invent a pretext for escalating the confrontation in a back room.”
NASA’s Aqua satellite has captured a stunning image showing a number of large fires burning across North Korea earlier this week.
The image, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite, clearly shows large plumes of smoke from the fires, which are concentrated across the east and central parts of the DPRK. Also visible are the fires themselves, which are highlighted in red after being detected with the satellite’s thermal imager. More >
The most popular North Korea-related YouTube channel was deleted by the video website on Wednesday for copyright infringement.
[April 26 update: The channel is now back. Read on for details of how that happened]
The Stimme Koreas channel had amassed around 15 million views for the hundreds of videos it hosted, ranking it above second-placed North Korea Today.
It had attracted more than 12,000 subscribers but today all those subscribers saw was a blank page with a message from YouTube:
“YouTube account stimmekoreas has been terminated because we received multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement from claimants including: DPRKMusicChannel.”
A Beijing-based drone retailer has denied having anything to do with two drones that were recently discovered in South Korea near the country’s border with the north.
The company, China TranComm Technologies, sells the Sky-09P drone, which in images appears very similar to the drones that crashed in South Korea.
The similarity between the drones found in South Korea and the Sky-09P was highlighted by North Korea Tech on Monday. On Tuesday, the company was contacted by the South China Morning Post for comment on the report. More >
More photos have emerged of the Chinese Sky-09P drone that appears similar to at least one of the drones that was discovered crashed in South Korea. The new photos provide a clearer view of the underside of the drone and the slingshot launching system.
The photos are published on the website of China Trancomm Technologies (北京中交通信科技有限公司), a Beijing-based company that appears to sell the Sky-09P and two other variants, the Sky-09 and Sky-09H, and other drones.
As can be seen in the photo below, the drone has a series of what appear to be rubber pads on its base and it rests on a launching frame at points close to the beginning of the wing.
A drone recovered by South Korea that the country suspects was on a spying mission from the north bears a close resemblance to one produced by a Chinese aerospace company.
The drone was one of several discovered in the last month close to the inter-Korean border. The stubby craft was painted sky blue with a few wisps of white paint, perhaps to better blend in with the sky, and inside its stubby body was a digital camera.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) put out a call Tuesday for projects aimed at human rights and democracy in North Korea.
DRL will fund winning proposals with grants of up to $350,000 per organization and groups have until May 13, 2014, to complete and submit their proposals.
Proposals can cover a broad range of areas, but the DRL advised they should “include activities that support recommendations from the recently released report from the Commission of Inquiry on North Korea and/or DPRK’s Universal Periodic Review.” More >
The Seoul-based station is understood to have suspended shortwave broadcasting at the end of March after a grant from the U.S. government used to pay for the transmissions apparently ended.
In common with the other private stations that target the DPRK, Open Radio doesn’t have its own transmitters. Instead, it bought time on transmitters located in the region.
It broadcast two programs via shortwave each day, one from 9:30pm to 11:30pm local time via a transmitter in Tashkent in Uzbekistan, and a second from 5am to 6am local time via a transmitter in Dushanbe in Tajikistan.
Both are some distance from North Korea, but can usually service the country thanks to the way shortwave radio waves propagate at night time.
The one thing the station had to put up with was constant jamming from North Korean authorities. To stop people inside the DPRK listening to Open Radio, the government would broadcast a powerful noise signal on the same frequency at the same time to make Open Radio difficult or impossible to hear. More >