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Posts by Martyn Williams
Two new North Korean-related websites have recently launched and both are associated with food.
The first, from Korea Pyongyang Haedanghwa Foodstuff, appears as a sub-site on the Naenara portal operated by Korea Computer Center (pictured, right). The site is available in Korean, Chinese and English and promotes the company’s
South Korea’s Yonhap News reports the website is “what could be the cash-strapped nation’s latest attempt to diversify its marketing activities to earn hard currency,” but there’s not much to back up that claim. While the site does appear to be the company’s first step onto the Internet, it’s not heavy with sales pitches and there’s More >
Japanese police suspect a consignment of 1,843 used computers and monitors allegedly exported to North Korea could have been used in a 2009 week-long attack on a handful of South Korean and U.S. websites.
The computers, allegedly exported in violation of Japanese sanctions, were shipped to the Pyongyang Informatics Center (PIC), a unit of the state-run Korea Computer Center (KCC), on June 18, 2009, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported quoting “investigation sources.”
Less than a month later on the July 4 weekend, a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack targeted 27 South Korean and U.S. websites.
DDOS attacks work by harnessing the power and bandwidth More >
North Korea’s state broadcaster, Korea Central Television, has given its evening news a new look. The changes are small, but represent a leap forward in presentation style for the staid broadcaster.
The new look has news readers presenting items in front of a computer-generated background. A graphic to accompany the story appears above the right or left shoulder — a style almost universally used in other countries. When the report begins the graphic moves forward to fill the screen.
Here are a couple of images from the Saturday March 10, 2012, evening’s news, which was the first seen with the changes.
The report More >
North Korea remains high on the list of enemies of the Internet, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said Monday in an annual report on Internet censorship.
The country was listed alongside Bahrain, Belarus Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam as a home to the world’s most repressive online regimes.
The news won’t come as a surprise to anyone that follows North Korea. The country has the world’s harshest restrictions on Internet use and an almost total ban on access. Only a handful of the country’s 24 million people are allowed access, and then it’s only to operate propaganda websites or More >
Police in Tokyo conducted follow-up raids this week on the office of a North Korean-linked science association as part of an investigation into illegal PC exports.
The Korean Association of Science and Technology in Japan (在日本朝鮮人科学技術協会, 재일본조선인과학기술협회) was raided on Tuesday, according to local media reports.
Police were investigating a possible link between the group and Lee Soon Gi, the 49-year old president of used PC equipment seller Popura Tec (website, right), said the Jiji news agency.
Lee was arrested earlier this month along with two others on suspicion of exporting PCs to North Korea in violation of Japan’s trade sanctions.
The science association was formed in More >
Several of North Korea’s external radio services and its powerful jamming operation that blocks foreign broadcasts are having trouble staying on the air.
Voice of Korea, the country’s international radio outlet, was missing from several of its scheduled broadcasts on Thursday, according to monitoring from sites in South Korea, Japan and the U.S.
Two days earlier its English-language broadcast to North America, scheduled from 1500-1554 GMT (1000-1054 Eastern Time) abruptly cut off around 20 minutes into the broadcast and didn’t return. On Thursday the French program left the air five minutes early while in the middle of a song.
All these events are highly More >
Regular readers of The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea’s Workers’ Party, might be forgiven for thinking the newspaper has a correspondent in South Korea. The newspaper, now available in English via its website, offers a page of inter-Korean news complete with photographs of demonstrations happening in Seoul.
But where are they coming from? A little investigating reveals the pictures are mostly cropped versions of photos taken by South Korean news organizations. They aren’t cropped to change the meaning of the image — they’re cropped to remove the logo of the news agency that holds the copyright.
Is the Rodong Sinmun’s More >
In the northern Pyongyang suburb of Hyongjesan there are twelve large satellite dishes on a hillside. The dishes, easily visible in satellite photos, have been there for at least a decade and while their function is unknown, their close proximity to North Korea’s signals intelligence headquarters might be a clue to their purpose.
Some of the dishes have buildings next to them while others are surrounded by trees. Their exact size is difficult to determine, but most appear to be around 16- or 18-meters in diameter. That makes them large enough to receive signals from many satellites in orbit above Asia, but what are More >
It’s not often the North Korean authorities have a global Internet rumor to deal with, but that’s what officials in Beijing will be waking up to on Saturday morning. The Chinese and global micro-blogging sphere is alight with rumors that Kim Jong Un was assassinated while visiting his country’s Beijing embassy.The source of the initial rumors is unclear and the only “proof” being offered is a bad cell phone image of cars – supposedly parked in the embassy car park, and supposedly more than usual. Here’s a look at what happened, collated into a Storify timeline: