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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 >
North Korea’s external shortwave radio broadcaster, Voice of Korea, joins many of the world’s international broadcasters in switching to a summer frequency schedule on Sunday, March 30.
Shortwave broadcasts change frequencies numerous times during the day to take advantage of atmospheric conditions that help their broadcasts can reach the intended targets. For this reason, it’s important to know when and where a station will appear. More >
Three of North Korea’s state security and censorship organizations have been called out by Reporters Without Borders in the organization’s latest ranking of “Enemies of the Internet.”
The report was published on Wednesday, which RSF and Amnesty International have named world day against cyber censorship.
The three organizations named by RSF are the Central Scientific and Technological Information Agency, which runs the domestic intranet system, Group 109, which attempts to police distribution of illegal foreign content, and Bureau 27, which monitors cell phones and radio broadcasts.
RSF calls Group 109 “censorship’s elite force” and draws on testimony provided to the United Nations that claims the group “regularly herds people into stadiums where they are made to observe those caught red-handed who are then sent to prison camps to deter others from obtaining illegal content.” More >
But the annual report to Congress on “Military and Security Developments Involving the DPRK” is also a lot more cautious in blaming North Korea for a series of recent cyber attacks that have targeted South Korea.
Unlike the statements and reports that comes from the South Korean government, the North’s capability to launch attacks isn’t even stated as a certainty by the DoD.
“North Korea probably has a military offensive cyber operations (OCO) capability,” it says in the report that was published this week.
It goes on to note that the country “was allegedly responsible” for denial of service attacks against South Korean private and governmental establishments and was “allegedly behind” attacks in 2013 that targeted banks, TV broadcasters and the government. More >
If you want to give your computer desktop a touch of North Korea’s Red Star Linux without installing the operating system, now you can.