A recent Google Earth update has revealed some changes at one of North Korea’s largest international communications center.
Pyongyang Earth Station, situated in Pyongyang’s eastern suburb of Sadong, is believed to be responsible for the country’s civilian satellite communications links with the rest of the world. I wrote a little about its history in a previous post.
Late last year it’s testcard (pictured, right) was seen at the end of the international TV feed of the funeral procession for late leader Kim Jong Il.
While there hasn’t been much change at the facility in several years, the summer of 2011 appears to have brought a More >
International experts invited to North Korea to observe its planned Unha-3 rocket launch will get to see not just the launch but also the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite installed in the rocket, state media said on Thursday.
There has been much doubt expressed in the international community about whether the launch, planned to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, is anything more than a cover for a long-range missile test.
The country’s media has to-date failed to provide a photograph of the planned satellite. Even if they did it couldn’t be verified.
Should foreign experts and reporters get a close-up More >
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 >