Most people who read this blog will be familiar with the image of the two Koreas at nighttime by a NASA satellite
On January 30, 2014, an astronaut on the International Space Station used a Nikon D3S camera to capture a new image of the Korean peninsula at 10:16 pm — one that’s even more dramatic than the monochrome NASA satellite image of old.
As NASA says, “The darkened land appears as if it were a patch of water joining the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan. Its capital city, Pyongyang, appears like a small island, despite a population of 3.26 million (as of 2008). The light emission from Pyongyang is equivalent to the smaller towns in South Korea.”
“Coastlines are often very apparent in night imagery, as shown by South Korea’s eastern shoreline. But the coast of North Korea is difficult to detect. These differences are illustrated in per capita power consumption in the two countries, with South Korea at 10,162 kilowatt hours and North Korea at 739 kilowatt hours.” More >
North Korea’s KCTV often manages to air portions of the events, but only with technical assistance from other organizations.
And so this year, for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, North Koreans are able to watch thanks to a tie-up with the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union, an organization that ties together major broadcasters across Asia, and South Korea’s KBS. More >
The report, published on Wednesday, put North Korea at position 179.
During 2013, the country was singled out for particular criticism by the group for media coverage of the arrest, trial and execution of Jang Song Thaek.
State media went into overdrive during the event, describing Jang’s alleged crimes in detail and denouncing him for them. More >
Officials from North and South Korea have come to an agreement that should allow limited Internet access inside the Kaesong Industrial Zone, the jointly-run manufacturing complex just north of the inter-Korean border.
The agreement was reached during talks on Friday, according to reports quoting South Korea’s Unification Ministry.
South Korean managers who work at the factories in the industrial park will be able to get Internet connections once a link is installed by South Korea’s KT and North Korea’s Korea Posts and Telecommunications Co. (KPTC).
The industrial zone is home to over 100 South Korean-owned factories. More >
It’s been almost a year since I published the second edition of The North Korea YouTube List, a survey of YouTube channels that carry material related to North Korea.
The latest version includes several new channels and changes throughout.
Perhaps the biggest change is that the DPRK Music Channel, previously ranked as the most popular DPRK-related channel with 11.7-million views, has stopped updating. The last video was uploaded eight months ago.
However, its popularity and the large number of videos means it remains the top-ranking channel with 16.5-million views. More >
The program, broadcast on BBC One on February 3, begins summarizing the Kim’s control over the country and its people and reminds us that Kim Jong Un recently had his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, put to death.
“Remarkably, weeks before his death, we gained access to North Korea to film a pioneering experiment,” said reporter Chris Rogers during the introduction. More >
Poor Microsoft. It seems North Korea doesn’t like the traditional Windows-look anymore.
The latest version of the country’s home-grown operating system, Red Star Linux, has been restyled and ships with a desktop that closely resembles Apple’s Mac OSX. The previous version was based on the popular KDE desktop that mimicked that of Windows 7.
Red Star Linux was developed by the Korea Computer Center (KCC), a major center of software programming in Pyongyang, and is based on Linux, the open-source operating system originally developed by Linus Torvalds.
Open-source software is offered to the world under a license that allows anyone to adapt and modify the program and that’s what North Korea began doing around ten years ago. Its base appears to have been Red Hat Linux, a popular version of Linux that’s offered by a company based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Red Star first became widely available outside of North Korea around 2010 when a Russian student who was studying at Kim Il Sung University posted it on the Internet.
This is what version 2.0 looked like:
Speaking during a public hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, James Clapper said the two countries were working more closely together on intelligence matters.
“The Japanese are emerging as great partners,” said Clapper. More >