North Korean state media provided a little more information on Wednesday about the mission of the satellite it plans to launch in early April — if the scheduled launch is a satellite mission at all.
Based on the country’s previous two rocket launches, the overwhelming view in the international community is that the rocket launch is nothing more than a test firing of a long-range ballistic missile.
If the rocket really is putting a satellite into space, that should become clear shortly after launch when radar and space tracking stations pick up the satellite on the way into orbit.
Whatever the truth, the Korean Central More >
Voice of Korea, the DPRK’s international shortwave radio broadcaster, is still having technical problems that result in entire broadcasts failing to make it on-air.
Now, a month later, the broadcaster is still failing to match its schedule. Today, on March 27, some of the scheduled transmissions were heard but others were missing.
Here’s a clip from a broadcast on March 20 when, midway through a piece of music the transmitter suddenly goes off air.
Recent satellite images of the Sohae Launch Facility on the DPRK’s west coast are providing the best glimpse yet of the center where the DPRK intends to launch a rocket in early April. North Korea says it’s launching a satellite while the rest of the world consider it a cover for a long-range missile test.
Whatever the truth of the planned launch, here’s a look at some of the most interesting areas of the facility. All of the information is based on analysis of the most current satellite image from GeoEye, previous images through Google Earth, and through previously published pictures More >
Aircraft flying between The Philippines and Japan are being cautioned that three air routes cross the area in which part of North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket is expected to fall to land.
The area is identical to the “second stage falling area” that was notified to international maritime authorities earlier this week. The Unha-3 rocket is a two-stage design and one part is expected to drop into the sea to the west of South Korea with the other falling near The Philippines.
The air routes affected are A582, which goes from Jomalig island off the eastern coast of Mindanao to Japan’s Kyushu island via More >
North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket, scheduled for launch next month, will drop to earth in two stages off the western coast of South Korea and to the east of Luzon Island in the Philippines, according to documents submitted by the country to the International Maritime Organization.
The documents, obtained by NorthKoreaTech.org, were sent to the IMO’s London headquarters from the DPRK’s embassy in the U.K. They carried the name of “Ko Nung Do,” who is identified as director general of the DPRK’s Maritime Administration.
Some of the information restates what has already been disclosed by the country: that the launch would take place More >
A website in Japan has begun offering an archive of several days worth of North Korean TV news broadcasts.
[Updated: see below]
The Pyongyang News website appears to be affiliated with a handful of sites operated by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (sometimes known as ‘Chosen Soren’ or ‘Chongryon’) (在日本朝鮮人總聯合會, 재일본 조선인 총련합회).
At time of writing, news bulletins going back to March 2nd are available. That’s longer than the 10 day archive offered by Elufa.net, another Tokyo-based website affiliated with the same group. The programs are received via a feed of North Korean television on the Thaicom satellite.
The new site has bulletins More >
The International Telecommunication Union has received notification from North Korea of its planned satellite launch, the Geneva-based organization confirmed on Monday.
The DPRK’s launch notification says the “Kwangmyongsong-3″ satellite is scheduled for launch around April 12 to 16th, a spokesman for the U.N. organization said via e-mail.
It states the satellite is being launched in “pursuant of the State plan for space development,” which mirrors last week’s official announcement of the launch.
The satellite will broadcast remote data in the UHF band and video in the X-band, the ITU quoted the DPRK’s notification as saying.
North Korea has twice attempted to launch satellites into space in the past: once in 1998 and once in 2009. The success of the launches is an issue of debate — monitors, both governmental and amateur, never managed to detect signals from the 2009 satellite — but they were immortalized on two North Korean postage stamps.
The first is from 1998 and illustrates the August 31st launch of Kwangmyongsong-1.
The launch came during the country’s “arduous march,” a period of extreme famine in the country that is estimated to have killed between 900,000 and 3.5 million people. At the end of the year, North More >
North Korea says it will invite international observers and foreign media to witness the upcoming launch of its Kwangmyongsong 3 satellite, state-run media said on Saturday.
The launch, which is due to take place between April 12 and 15, is expected to become one of the high points of the country’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung on April 15. The invitation of foreign observers to see the launch increases the pressure on North Korea to ensure the launch goes perfectly — a launch malfunction would be embarrassing for the country, especially if the foreign media is allowed More >
A joint photo exhibition being staged by The Associated Press and the Korean Central News Agency opened at New York’s The 8th Floor gallery this week.
The exhibition is one by-product of the AP’s opening of a news bureau in Pyongyang earlier this year and features 79 photographs, including shots from AP photographers, KCNA staffers and material from the KCNA archive.
The pictures are “designed to show what life is like in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the AP said in a news release.
They include the picture on the right, which is captioned: “A young North Korean dancer leaps by as girls put More >