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Posts by Martyn Williams
When North Korea launched a modernization of its broadcasting network in 2011, the Chinese company chosen to supply new TV and radio transmitters to the country faced a problem.
The location of broadcast towers in North Korea is so much of a state secret that engineers from the company weren’t permitted to travel to the DPRK to help install the transmitters, the company, Beijing BBEF Science and Technology, said on its website.
Instead, eight North Korean engineers spent a month in China being trained on how to install and operate the devices, which included a medium-power TV transmitter, several shortwave radio transmitters and a powerful More >
North Korea came out swinging on Monday against the South Korean government, promising to “burn down” Lee Myung Bak and the country’s conservative media “within three to four minutes, or shorter than that, by unprecedented means.”
The threats, which are stronger than the normal anti-Lee rhetoric that comes from the country’s media each day, followed a speech made by the South Korea president on Friday and were broadcast in a special news TV bulletin. It was also carried by state radio.
Here’s a clip from the English-language program of the Voice of Korea.
North Korea says it will continue to conduct satellite launches despite the protests of other countries.
The pledge was made in a statement by the country’s foreign ministry, which was carried by the Korea Central News Agency and Voice of Korea radio (below) and doesn’t come as a surprise.
The statement reiterates North Korea’s assertion that its launches are for “peaceful purposes” and promises that future launches will include a geostationary satellite.
A geostationary satellite maintains an orbit above the equator so that it doesn’t appear to change position when viewed from Earth. Communications satellites, like those used to beam TV to the home, More >
Here’s an English translation of the speech delivered by Kim Jong Un on April 15th, 2012, at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang:
[Update: I should have originally mentioned, this is not an official translation. The DPRK has, to my knowledge, published no transcript of the speech.]
Heroic officers of the army, the navy, the air force and the strategic rocket unit of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), and officers of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces; members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards and the Young Red Guards; working people of the entire country and citizens of Pyongyang; the people in the South More >
Sometimes it’s the little things that mark larger changes in North Korean society.
[This post has been updated, see below]
As the nation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of national founder Kim Il Sung this Sunday, April 15, announcers on state television have begun wearing new pins that have two faces on them.
The “Kim pins” are familiar to anyone that closely follows North Korea. Worn on the lapel almost all the time by North Koreans, they typically have the face of Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Il.
Eagle-eyed North Korean TV monitor Mark Fahey in Australia spotted the change in More >
Voice of Korea, the DPRK’s international radio service, broadcast news of the failure to place the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite into orbit.
Below is a recording of the radio station’s English-language broadcast for Friday. Voice of Korea typically updates its programming once a day, so is almost always beaten to the news by domestic media outlets. i’m posting it here because it’s the only radio or TV news available in English.
As expected, there’s no update on the reason for the failure.
After North Korea invited international media to its satellite control center it was only a matter of time before it was located on satellite images. The building, distinctive for two round domes (possible radar domes) on the rooftop at each end (see below), made it fairly easy to spot. And that’s what’s happened.
Most of the media that visited the facility didn’t report its location. Japan’s NHK said it was in “northern Pyongyang” (correct!) while Chinese media said “about 20 kilometers northwest of Pyongyang” (incorrect).
It was first spotted by a reader to Curtis Melvin’s North Korea Economy Watch site.
The launch might More >
North Korean TV ran a special news broadcast informing the country that the launch of the Kwangmyongsong 3 had failed to reach.
The broadcast came several hours after the launch. which passed by when national TV was still yet to begin programming. When it did begin daily broadcasts, the TV station opened as usual and went into regular programming.
The special bulletin came several hours later, long after the rest of the world has discovered what happened to the rocket.
According to U.S. media reports attributed to government sources, the rocket exploded about 90 seconds after its launch from the Sohae launch facility.
The More >
Based on information submitted by the DPRK to international organizations prior to launch, the folks at Analytical Graphics have produced a good-looking computer simulation of what the Unha-3 launch might look like.
The simulation lacks of the most recent theories on the precise launch path, such as a slight dog-leg turn in the trajectory of the satellite when the third stage separates, but that’s not too important.
Take a look and you’ll have a good feel for the path of the rocket and how the first and second stages will drop into the ocean.
Launch of the Unha-3 rocket and Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite isn’t the only big thing happening in Pyongyang this week. As the city gears up to mark 100 years since the birth of national founder Kim Il Sung, the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea is holding its conference.
During Wednesday’s session, the conference named Kim Jong Il the “eternal general secretary of the WPK” and named Kim Jong Un “first secretary of the WPK,” which was “true to the behest of leader Kim Jong Il,” according to a KCNA report.
While we’re all waiting for that, here are some pictures of the conference courtesy of North Korean More >