North Korea’s English-language broadcasting service marks its 63rd birthday on Thursday, November 6. Broadcast now under the name “Voice of Korea,” the radio station was for decades known as Radio Pyongyang.
Since 1951, it’s broadcast thousands of hours of English-language programming and today remains one of the few international radio stations that still uses shortwave as its primary method of dissemination. The transmitters occupy a huge site that can easily be seen on satellite images.
Listeners can expect to find each daily hour-long broadcast kick-off with the national anthem and the songs of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il then news, music and More >
Voice of Korea, North Korea’s international shortwave broadcasting station, adjusted its transmission schedule on October 26 for the winter 2014 and spring 2015 seasons.
The broadcasts follow the same basic line-up each day.
:00 Opening signal, station identification: “This is Voice of Korea” :01 National Anthem :03 Song of General Kim Il Sung :06 Song of General Kim Jong Il :09 News, editorials (approx 15 minutes, but can be extended to full broadcast), followed by music :30 Reminiscences of Great Leader President Kim Il Sung of the century :40 Music and features :50 Editorial, special message (occasional) :55 Frequency information :57 Close
The More >
When the isolated country hosted dozens of reporters, athletes and minor celebrities at its International Pro-Wrestling Contest in Pyongyang at the weekend, opinions on the experience were mixed to say the least. We took a look at the coverage.
Pyongyang is recovering from its International Pro-Wrestling Contest which saw North Koreans line up next to international wrestlers, including three Americans, over two days.
The event was organised by Antonio Inoki, a former a Japanese wrestler-turned-politician, best known for going up against Muhammad Ali in 1979.
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 >
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 >
South Korea’s latest attempt to sway the minds of the North Korean people looks like a dud before it’s even begun.
This month, the South Korean military begins regular programming on a new shortwave radio station aimed at the DPRK, but the selection of frequency, low transmitter power and aggressive jamming means few if anyone in the DPRK can probably hear it.
Voice of Freedom began several years ago on FM along the border. The use of FM hobbled the station because the signals typically only travel a few tens of kilometers and are susceptible to being blocked by the many hills in the area.
A “hackathon” planned for August aims to harness the technical prowess of Silicon Valley in coming up with new ways to get information safely into North Korea.
“Hack North Korea” will take place in San Francisco and has been organized by The Human Rights Foundation, a New York-based group that earlier this year helped sent USB thumb drives loaded with Wikipedia across the inter-Korean border in balloons.
The event won’t be engaging in any computer hacking in the malicious sense. Rather, it will be hacking in the sense of coming up with new ways to “spark better ideas for getting information into the world’s most More >
The question of a BBC Korean-language service was back in the U.K. parliament last week when the House of Lords heard a motion to “take note of the role the BBC World Service and the British Council in promoting British values and interests worldwide.”
While the speeches in the House of Lords weren’t focused on Korea, a number spoke on the subject including Lord Eames, who was Archbishop of Armagh from 1986 until 2006. A year later in 2007, he led a delegation on a humanitarian visit to North Korea as one of the most senior members of the Anglican Church.
He related a conversation More >
South Korea has stepped up propaganda radio broadcasts targeted at North Korea and attracted a fast response from the country.
Voice of Freedom, one of three government-run radio stations that broadcasts to the north, launched a tentative shortwave service at the beginning of May, but the signal is already being aggressively blocked by the North Korean authorities.
The station is operated by South Korea’s Ministry of Defense and has been broadcasting towards North Korea for years. Programming was halted in 2004 after an inter-Korean friendship accord but was resumed in 2010, shortly after the South Korean Cheonan corvette was sunk with the loss of 46 More >
North Korea’s state-run news agency issued a sharp criticism over the weekend of U.S. funding of technology projects that attack censorship.
The commentary, published on Saturday, points to dissatisfaction among the North Korean elite with U.S. funding of projects that enable the free flow of information and bypass Internet censorship.
It comes as U.S. State Dept.’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) is evaluating proposals for its latest round of funding aimed at human rights and democracy in North Korea. The DRL is offering up to $350,000 to organizations for projects targeted at the DPRK.
North Korea maintains one of the most formidable state-sanctioned censorship regimes in the More >