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Summer radio broadcasts to DPRK

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thumb-radioThe various public and private radio stations that aim broadcasts at North Korea have just refreshed their broadcast schedules for the summer season.

In addition to the publicly-funded outlets, there are several private stations. Their editorial balance at the stations differ although none are pro-regime stations. Some are jammed by North Korea making reception difficult — but not impossible — inside the country.

Given the right conditions, the broadcasts should be audible across a wide swarth of Asia.

All times at UTC and all broadcasts in Korea unless noted.

== International Broadcasters ==

Voice of America

1200 to 1300 (2100 to 2200 local) on 1,188kHz, 7,225kHz, 9,490kHz and 15,775kHz

1300 to 1500 (2200 to 0000 local) on 1,188kHz, 7,225kHz, 11,935kHz and 15,775kHz

1900 to 2100 (0400 to 0600 local) on 648kHz, 5,900kHz, 6,060kHz and 7,365kHz

Radio Free Asia

1500 to 1700 (0000 to 0200 local) on 648kHz, 5,820kHz, 7,210kHz and 7,455kHz

1700 to 1800 (0200 to 0300 local) on 648kHz, 5,820kHz and 9,975kHz

1800 to 1900 (0300 to 0400 local) on 648kHz and 5,820kHz

2100 to 2200 (0600 to 0700 local) on 648kHz, 7,460kHz, 9,610kHz and 11,945kHz

KBS Social Radio

0400 to 0000 (1300 to 0900 local) on 972kHz and 6,015kHz

1000 to 0400 (1900 to 1300 local) on 1,170kHz

== South Korea to North Korea ==

Free North Korea Radio (자유북한방송)

1430 to 1630 (2330 to 0130 local) on 11,570kHz

Open Radio for North Korea (열린북한방송)

1230 to 1430 (2130 to 2330 local) on 11,550kHz and 15,700kHz

1900 to 1955 (0400 to 0455 local) on 774kHz and 92.3MHz via MBC Chuncheon

2100 to 2200 (0600 to 0700 local) on 7,480kHz

Radio Free Choson (자유조선방송)

1200 to 1400 (2100 to 2300 local) on 11,540kHz and 15,720kHz

2000 to 2100 (0500 to 0600 local) on 7,505kHz

North Korea Reform Radio (북한개혁방송)

1500 to 1600 (0000 to 0100 local) on 7,590kHz

== Japan to North Korea ==

Shiokaze (しおかぜ)

1330 to 1400 (2230 to 2300 local) on 6020kHz via Japan (in Japanese on Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri; Chinese on Wed; English on Sat; Korean on Sun)

1400 to 1430 (2300 to 2330 local) on 6020kHz via Japan (in Korean on Mon, Wed; Japanese on Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun; English on Sat)

2000 to 2030 (0500 to 0530 local) on 6075kHz via Japan (in Japanese on Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri; Chinese on Wed; English on Sat; Korean on Sun)

2030 to 2100 (0530 to 0600 local) on 6075kHz via Japan (in Korean on Mon, Wed; Japanese on Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun; English on Sat) 

Furusato no kaze (ふるさとの風)

1330 to 1357 (2230 to 2257 local) on 9950kHz via Taiwan (in Japanese)

1430 to 1500 (2330 to 0000 local) on 9960kHz via Palau (in Japanese)

1600 to 1630 (0100 to 0130 local) on 9780kHz via Taiwan (in Japanese)

Nippon no kaze (日本の風)

1300 to 1330 (2200 to 2230 local) on 9950kHz via Taiwan

1500 to 1530 (0000 to 0030 local) on 9975kHz via Palau

1530 to 1600 (0030 to 0100 local) on 9965kHz via Palau

== Religious ==

Voice of the Wilderness

1300 to 1330 (2200 to 2230 local) on 17,650kHz (Monday to Saturday)

1300 to 1400 (2200 to 2300 local) on 11,860kHz (Monday to Saturday)

1300 to 1430 (2200 to 2330 local) on 17,650kHz and 11,860kHz (Sunday)

1620 to 1635 (0120 to 0135 local) on 1,188kHz (Friday and Saturday)

1900 to 1930 (0400 to 0430 local) on 1,566kHz (Sunday)

1900 to 2000 (0400 to 0500 local) on 1,566kHz (Tuesday, Thursday)

1900 to 2000 (0400 to 0500 local) on 7,375kHz (Monday to Saturday)

1900 to 2030 (0400 to 0530 local) on 7,375kHz (Sunday)

Voice of the Martyrs

1600 to 1730 (0100 to 0230 local) on 7,515kHz

130408-bgp-02

DPRK reconfigures its Internet connection

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Hot on the heels of a series of attacks that have seen its Internet connectivity severely disrupted, the DPRK appears to be adding an additional route through which it links to the global Internet.

The new link began appearing in Internet addressing tables on Monday and connects from Star, the country’s sole Internet service provider, to China Unicom Hong Kong’s network.

Most of the Internet traffic to and from the country already runs over a link from mainland China that is serviced by China Unicom. Almost exactly a year ago, a second connection was added via Intelsat satellite.

The new connection appears to provides a third way for traffic to reach the country, although much is unclear. It’s not immediately clear if it represents a third physical connection or it only happening on the network level, and at present there’s no way to know if it serves as an additional backup or will become an important connection.

Update time:          2013-04-08 03:21 (UTC)
Detected by #peers:   2
Detected prefix:      175.45.177.0/24
Announced by:         AS131279 (STAR-KP --  Ryugyong-dong)
Upstream AS:          AS10099 (HKUNICOM1-AP China Unicom (Hong Kong) Operations Limited)

Renesys, which specializes in analysis of Internet networking, confirmed it was also seeing a new path via China Unicom Hong Kong to North Korea.

Trace routes … from providers who have chosen this new route now send their traffic to Unicom in Hong Kong whereas previously they connected elsewhere,” said Doug Madory. A trace route is a plot of each step taken by a data packet between its source and destination.

At first, only about 3 percent of Internet providers that Renesys tracks were using the new link, he said. But as Tuesday progressed in Pyongyang, there were several changes in the route that caused it to go on and off.

130408-bgp-02

The connection links just one of the DPRK’s four blocks of Internet addresses.

The block in question isn’t the one that hosts North Korea’s handful of web servers — the ones that came under denial of service attack in the last few days. But it does host some computers, including an Internet gateway that serves as one of the ways traffic from inside North Korea gets to the rest of the Internet, according to NorthKoreaTech monitoring.

It’s still too early to say anything definitive about this, but its appearance after the denial of service attacks is interesting. We’ll likely be able to conclude more in the coming days.

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Uriminzokkiri restoring after hack

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130404-uriminzok-02This week’s hack of the Uriminzokkiri website certainly raised the bar in the cyber battle currently playing out online.

It marked the first time in the current round of attacks that anyone had managed to break in and deface a North Korean website. Over the last couple of weeks, several sites have been taken offline by denial of service attacks, but such attacks simply impede the website’s ability to serve pages and don’t affect the content.

This time around the attack saw the site removed and its Twitter and Flickr channels accessed. The Flickr channel is back under a new account, it appears Uriminzokkiri still doesn’t have access to its Twitter channel, and the site itself is back online, albeit with some previous content missing.

The site’s YouTube channel wasn’t apparently affected.

Four of Uriminzokkiri’s companion sites were also hit. One, AINDF.com, still displays a poster of Kim Jong Un depicted as a pig, while Ryugyongclip.com, Ryomyong.com and Ournation-school.com are offline.

From an analysis viewpoint, perhaps most interesting was the roughly 15,000 user account details that were also published. They are providing a fascinating profile of the type of people who registered with the site.

The details were released in two batches with the second of around 6,000 names coming on Saturday.

So, what’s next?

Some North Korean sites still appear to be under sporadic denial of service attack.

People posting Twitter messages under the name of Anonymous have been claiming further attacks will take place on April 19, under the name “OpFreeKorea,” and June 25, under the name “OpKoreanWar,” although the former date is being mentioned much less than the latter.

A lot will probably depend on the situation on the Korean peninsula. If tensions continue to rise, expect the attacks to continue. If things fall back to normal, North Korea won’t have such a high profile in news headlines and some attackers are likely to move on to other targets.

130404-anon

Uriminzokkiri, companion websites hacked

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130404-anonUriminzokkiri, a China-based North Korean news website with close ties to Pyongyang, has been hacked. The site is currently inaccessible, companion websites have also been attacked and defaced, and it’s Twitter feed and Flickr pages have also been broken into.

The hack came hours after a list of apparently 9,000 registered users of the site was posted to the Internet.

The list contained user names, real names, email addresses, birth dates and other information including hashed passwords, which are the result of a process where a password is passed through an algorithm to disguise it. The attackers had apparently been able to break some of the simpler passwords, such as “123456,” and the password of the site administrator.

If the user ID and password of the site administrator was correct (North Korea Tech did not attempt to verify it by accessing the site), it would allow an intruder almost complete control over the site.

On Twitter, the Uriminzokkiri account saw it’s photo change to an illustration of a couple dancing the tango, the man with the Guy Fawkes mask that has become the symbol of the “Anonymous” hackers, and the words “Tango Down.”

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The account was also used to send out information on the attacks:

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130404-uriminzok-03The other websites mentioned are companion sites of Uriminzokkiri.

One of the sites was changed to include a “wanted” poster that showed an illustration of Kim Jong Un with a Mickey Mouse tattoo and a pig’s nose and ears. Among the listed crimes: Threatening world peace with ICBMs and nuclear weapons, Wasting money while his people starve to death, Concentration camps and the worst human rights violation in the world.

The hack and the poster will likely be deeply embarrassing for the people running Uriminzokkiri and could land them in serious trouble with the authorities in Pyongyang.

In early 2011 the site’s Twitter channel was hacked and used to send out messages disparaging then-leader Kim Jong Il. It also carried a link to a YouTube that showed Kim Jong Un driving a sports car filled with birthday gifts while mowing down pedestrians.

After the hack Free North Korea Radio reported officials of the website had been questioned by investigators from Pyongyang over the hack.

The attack is the latest in a string of cyber-actions against North Korean Internet properties.

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Voice of Korea on KPA nuclear statement

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The Korean People’s Army statement issued through KCNA on Thursday threatening nuclear weapons use in retaliation for any U.S. attack was repeated on the Voice of Korea shortwave radio program of the DPRK the same day, but it didn’t rank anywhere near the top news of the day.

Leading off the English-language newscast was details of the plenary meeting of the central committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The news then progressed to a number of new laws passed by the Supreme People’s Assembly. Item five on the nuclear weapons law might be of interest to some.

The army statement came eleventh in the news cast.

I don’t normally put all these news reports on the site, but as reception was so good today and everyone is focused on the DPRK, I thought it might be useful or interesting for people to hear all of the news reported.

Here’s a look at what the country decided to send to the world through Voice of Korea’s broadcast for April 4, 2013. If you want to try and catch these broadcasts yourself, you’ll need a shortwave radio, the schedule published earlier this week, and the luck of good radio propagation from the DPRK to your house.

1) Report of Kim Jong Un at March 2013 Plenary Meeting of CC of WPK

2) Concluding speech of Kim Jong Un at March 2013 Plenary Meeting of WPK CC

3) Law on amending and supplementing some contents of DPRK Socialist Constitution

4) DPRK Law on Kumsusan Palace of Sun adopted

5) Law on consolidating position of nuclear weapons state adopted

6) DPRK Law on Developing Space adopted

7) DPRK SPA decides to set up State Space Development Bureau

8) Work of Kim Jong Un published in Pakistan and Peru

9) Revolutionary activities of Kim Jong Un reported abroad

10) Korean artistes in Japan pay homage to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il

11) US warned to ponder over grave situation

12) Collection of reminiscences “Among the People” Vol. 101 published

13) Sports games for Mangyongdae Prize open

14) Army-people rallies held in different provinces of Korea

15) Conference of Journalists Union of Korea held

16) Birthday feast spread sent to a centenarian

17) Delegation of Mongolian Institute for Strategic Studies here

18) US plot to provoke nuclear war denounced

19) US biochemical war moves denounced

20) Koreans in China denounce US and south Korean traitors for their war moves

21) March 2013 Plenary Meeting of WPK CC reported abroad

22) Statement of KPA Supreme Command reported abroad

130401-anon-uriminzokkiri

Hackers claim 15,000 Uriminzokkiri user records

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130401-anon-uriminzokkiriA hacker or hackers working under the umbrella of “Anonymous” claims to have broken into Uriminzokkiri.com, the North Korean-run site based in China, and taken over 15,000 user records.

A message posted online makes the claim and includes details for six accounts, apparently showing user names, e-mail addresses, birth dates, and hashed passwords.

These are passwords that have been run through an algorithm to come out as something that contains the essence of it. It’s an alternative to storing the password in plain text and helps guard against losing passwords during hacks like the one apparently conducted on Uriminzokkiri.com.

Of the six users, three have Korean names and the other three appear to be Chinese.

Four of the six users have Chinese email addresses, there’s a Hotmail address and one South Korean address that apparently belongs to KEPCO KDN, a smart-gird systems provider that’s part of the Korea Electric Power Co. But that South Korean address could be fake. If all the data in the records are to be believed, one of the users was born on June 1, 1900.

Aside from the user records, the message includes the rationale for the hack and a protest against the governments of both the United States and DPRK.

North Korean government is increasingly becoming a threat to peace and freedom. Don’t misunderstand us: As well we disagree with the USA government too – these guys are crooks, USA is a threat to world peace too, and direct democracy (or any kind of democracy) doesn’t exist there. The American government is a target and enemy of Anonymous as well!
This is not about country vs country – This is about we, the people, the 99% (of USA and of North Korea) vs oppressing and violent regimes (like USA gov. and N.K. gov)! We, the people, are gathering together because we are stronger now and we won’t fight your wars anymore, we won’t eat your shit anymore!!!

It then went on to make a series of demands:

We demand:
– N.K. government to stop making nukes and nuke-threats
– Kim Jong-un to resign
– it’s time to install a free direct democracy in North Korea
– uncensored internet access for all the citizens!

To Kim Jong-un:
So you feel the need to create large nukes and threaten half the world with them?
So you’re into demonstrations of power?, here is ours:
– We are inside your local intranets (Kwangmyong and others)
– We are inside your mailservers
– We are inside your webservers
Enjoy these few records as a proof of our access to your systems (random innocent citizens, collateral damage, because they were stupid enough to choose idiot passwords), we got all over 15k membership records of www.uriminzokkiri.com and many more. First we gonna wipe your data, then we gonna wipe your badass dictatorship “government”.

It’s worth noting that while sample data was included for Uriminzokkiri.com, there was no evidence supplied that supported the assertion that web and mail servers in North Korea or anything on the domestic intranet system had been accessed.

Getting onto the domestic intranet is highly unlikely based on our current understanding of the network. It’s believed to be totally separate from the Internet with no network link between the two for security purposes. So a proven hack would be very interesting.

The message ends:

To the citizens of North Korea we suggest to rise up and bring these motherfuckers of a oppressive government down!
We are holding your back and your hand, while you take the journey to freedom, democracy and peace.
You are not alone.
Don’t fear us, we are not terrorist, we are the good guys from the internet. AnonKorea and all the other Anons are here to set you free.

The claim comes as access to North Korean websites is returning to normal after a series of attacks made them difficult or impossible to access over the weekend. The attacks took place under the Twitter hashtag #OpNorthKorea.

More are planned, for both April 19 and June 25.

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Voice of Korea mid 2013 full schedule

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vok-logoVoice of Korea switched to its mid-2013 broadcasting schedule as of March 31. A couple of days ago I published the frequencies for English-language programs based on my own monitoring, and now we have the full plan for all languages.

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 Voice of Korea has traditionally refreshed these programs, including the news, once a day during the daytime in Korea.

The news output follows closely the text of English-language stories from KCNA with minor editing. It’s generally a day behind the news being put out on the domestic service in Korean.

The schedule is expected to remain current until late March of April 2013.

Many of the news items can be found on The Voice of Korea’s website. The station also broadcasts in French, Spanish, Arabic, German, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.

The full schedule for Voice of Korea is listed below and comes courtesy of Arnulf Piontek in Berlin.

The schedule shows the time in GMT (UTC), the language, the frequencies in kilohertz (kHz) and the target area of the broadcast. Korean-language programs are from the domestic Korea Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS).

First the schedule sorted by time, then by language.

0300 in Chinese on 13650, 15105 to Southeast Asia
0300 in Spanish on 11735, 13760, 15180 to Central & South America
0400 in English on 7220, 9445, 9730 to Northeast Asia
0400 in English on 11735, 13760, 15180 to Central & South America
0400 in French on 13650, 15105 to Southeast Asia
0500 in Chinese on 7220, 9445, 9730 to Northeast China
0500 in English on 13650, 15105 to Southeast Asia
0500 in Spanish on 11735, 13760, 15180 to Central & South America
0600 in Chinese on 13650, 15105 to Southeast Asia
0600 in English on 7220, 9445, 9730 to Northeast Asia
0600 in French on 11735, 13760, 15180 to Central & South America
0700 in Japanese on 621, 3250, 9650, 11865 to Japan
0700 in Russian on 9875, 11735 to Far East
0700 in Russian on 13760, 15245 to Europe
0800 in Chinese on 7220, 9445 to Northeast China
0800 in Japanese on 621, 3250, 9650, 11865 to Japan
0800 in Russian on 9875, 11735 to Far East
0800 in Russian on 13760, 15245 to Europe
0900 in Japanese on 621, 3250, 6070, 9650, 11865 to Japan
0900 in Korean on 7220, 9445 to Northeast China
1000 in English on 11710, 15180 to Central & South America
1000 in English on 11735, 13650 to Southeast Asia
1000 in Japanese on 621, 3250, 6070, 9650, 11865 to Japan
1100 in Chinese on 7220, 9445 to China
1100 in French on 11710, 15180 to Central & South America
1100 in French on 11735, 13650 to Southeast Asia
1100 in Japanese on 621, 3250, 6070, 9650, 11865 to Japan
1200 in Japanese on 621, 3250, 6070, 9650, 11865 to Japan
1200 in Korean on 11710, 15180 to Central & South America
1200 in Korean on 11735, 13650 to Southeast Asia
1300 in Chinese on 11735, 13650 to Southeast Asia
1300 in English 9435, 11710 to North America
1300 in English on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
1400 in French on 9435, 11710 to North America
1400 in French on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
1400 in Korean on 11735, 13650 to Southeast Asia
1400 in Russian on 3250, 9425, 12015 to Europe
1500 in Arabic on 9890, 11645 to Near & Middle East; North Africa
1500 in English on 9435, 11710 to North America
1500 in English on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
1500 in Russian on 3250, 9425, 12015 to Europe
1600 in English on 9890, 11645 to Near & Middle East; North Africa
1600 in French on 9435, 11710 to North America
1600 in French on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
1600 in German on 3250, 9425, 12015 to Europe
1700 in Arabic on 9890, 11645 to Near & Middle East; North Africa
1700 in Korean on 9435, 11710 to North America
1700 in Korean on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
1700 in Russian on 3250, 9425, 12015 to Europe
1800 in English on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
1800 in French on 7210, 11910 to Southern Africa
1800 in French on 9875, 11635 to Near & Middle East; North Africa
1800 in German on 3250, 9425, 12015 to Europe
1900 in English on 7210, 11910 to Southern Africa
1900 in English on 9875, 11635 to Near & Middle East; North Africa
1900 in German on 3250, 9425, 12015 to Europe
1900 in Spanish on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
2000 in French on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
2000 in Korean on 7210, 11910 to Southern Africa
2000 in Korean on 3250, 9425 12015 to Europe
2000 in Korean on 9875, 11635 to Near & Middle East; North Africa
2100 in Chinese on 7235, 9445 to Northeast China
2100 in Chinese on 9875, 11635 to China
2100 in English on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
2100 in Japanese on 621, 3250, 9650, 11865 to Japan
2200 in Chinese on 7235, 9445 to Northeast China
2200 in Chinese on 9875, 11635 to China
2200 in Japanese on 621, 3250, 9650, 11865 to Japan
2200 in Spanish on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
2300 in Japanese on 621, 3250, 9650, 11865 to Japan
2300 in Korean on 7235, 9445 to Northeast China
2300 in Korean on 9875, 11635 to China
2300 in Korean on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
Arabic
1500 on 9890, 11645 to Near & Middle East; North Africa
1700 on 9890, 11645 to Near & Middle East; North Africa

Chinese
0300 on 13650, 15105 to Southeast Asia
0500 on 7220, 9445, 9730 to Northeast China
0600 on 13650, 15105 to Southeast Asia
0800 on 7220, 9445 to Northeast China
1100 on 7220, 9445 to Northeast China
1300 on 11735, 13650 to Southeast Asia
2100 on 7235, 9445 to Northeast China
2100 on 9875, 11635 to China
2200 on 7235, 9445 to Northeast China
2200 on 9875, 11635 to China

German
1600 on 3250, 9425, 12015 to Europe
1800 on 3250, 9425, 12015 to Europe
1900 on 3250, 9425, 12015 to Europe

English
0400 on 7220, 9445, 9730 to Northeast Asia
0400 on 11735, 13760, 15180 to Central & South America
0500 on 13650, 15105 to Southeast Asia
0600 on 7220, 9445, 9730 to Northeast Asia
1000 on 11710, 15180 to Central & South America
1000 on 11735, 13650 to Southeast Asia
1300 on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
1300 on 9435, 11710 to North America
1500 on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
1500 on 9435, 11710 to North America
1600 on 9890, 11645 to Near & Middle East; North Africa
1800 on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
1900 on 7210, 11910 to South Africa
1900 on 9875, 11635 to Near & Middle East; North Africa
2100 on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe

French
0400 on 13650, 15105 to Southeast Asia
0600 on 11735, 13760 15180 to Central & South America
1100 on 11710, 15180 to Central & South America
1100 on 11735, 13650 to Southeast Asia
1400 on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
1400 on 9435, 11710 to North America
1600 on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe
1600 on 9435, 11710 to North America
1800 on 7210, 11910 to South Africa
1800 on 9875, 11635 to Near & Middle East; North Africa
2000 on 13760, 15245 to Western Europe

Japanese
0700 on 621, 3250, 9650, 11865 to Japan
0800 on 621, 3250, 9650, 11865 to Japan
0900 on 621, 3250, 6070, 9650, 11865 to Japan
1000 on 621, 3250, 6070, 9650, 11865 to Japan
1100 on 621, 3250, 6070, 9650, 11865 to Japan
1200 on 621, 3250, 6070, 9650, 11865 to Japan
2100 on 621, 3250, 9650, 11865 to Japan
2200 on 621, 3250, 9650, 11865 to Japan
2300 on 621, 3250, 9650, 11865 to Japan

Korean
0900 on 7220 9445 to Northeast China
1200 on 11710 15180 to Central & South America
1200 on 11735 13650 to Southeast Asia
1400 on 11735 13650 to Southeast Asia
1700 on 13760 15245 to Western Europe
1700 on 9435 11710 to North America
2000 on 7210 11910 to South Africa
2000 on 9425 12015 to Europe
2000 on 9875 11635 to Near & Middle East; North Africa
2300 on 7235 9445 to Northeast China
2300 on 13760 15245 to Western Europe
2300 on 9875 11635 to China

Russian
0700 on 13760 15245 to Europe
0700 on 9875 11735 to Far Eastern Russia
0800 on 13760 15245 to Europe
0800 on 9875 11735 to Far Eastern Russia
1400 on 3250 9425 12015 to Europe
1500 on 3250 9425 12015 to Europe
1700 on 3250 9425 12015 to Europe

Spanish
0300 on 11735 13760 15180 to Central & South America
0500 on 11735 13760 15180 to Central & South America
1900 on 13760 15245 to Western Europe
2200 on 13760 15245 to Western Europe
120315-unha

State Space Development Bureau established

1

120315-unhaSignaling that it intends to pursue space exploration and the launch of more satellites, the DPRK’s parliament on Monday voted to establish a State Space Development Bureau.

The Supreme People’s Assembly on Monday also voted into effect a law on space development, reported KCNA without detailing the law.

The news was reported by KCNA but there were few details on the bureau or who would head it. The Korean Committee of Space Technology had previously been the top body on space development and whether it will continue was also not clear.

The decision of the SPA was reported in brief form by the state-run news agency:

The DPRK is a full-fledged satellite manufacturer and launcher.

It is an invariable stand of the DPRK to develop the country into a world-class space power by exercising its legitimate right to space development for peaceful purposes.

To step up economic construction and improve the people’s standard of living by radically developing the space science and technology of the country and guide and manage all the space activities of the DPRK in a uniform way, the SPA decides as follows:

The DPRK State Space Development Bureau shall be set up.

The bureau is a state central institution which guides and manages the supervision and control over the working out of a space development program and its implementation and space development work in a uniform way.

The Cabinet of the DPRK and other institutions concerned shall take practical measures to implement this decision. — KCNA, April 1, 2013.

North Korea last year angered neighbors and the U.N. Security Council twice by attempting to put satellites into orbit. While the first of those launches is widely believed to have failed, the second succeeded in putting an object into orbit. Despite detecting the satellite, no radio signals were ever observed so it’s suspected the craft suffered a malfunction.

The launch attempts were controversial because they were largely seen as a way to skirt a ban on missile testing, since many rocket components are common to missiles.

The country has repeatedly cried foul saying the satellite launches are just that, but many observers disagree.

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