A familiar newscaster dressed in black appears on screen and makes a tearful announcement: Kim Jong Il is dead. When North Korean state TV and radio broke the news at noon on Monday they had already given advance notice that a major announcement was coming. Its delivery was an attempt to set a national mood of mourning.
On the Internet things were a bit different with the news being carried as if it was any other story.
North Korea’s state media ventured online last year when a new Internet connection was brought to Pyongyang. The state-run news agency, the major national daily More >
The news of Kim Jong Il’s death has all eyes focused on the Asian nation. Unlike many other countries, there’s only a handful of official news outlets and getting direct access can be difficult.
North Korean TV (KCTV) can be watched live through the Thaicom 5 satellite throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and some parts of Europe but you’ll need a satellite dish at least 3 meters across. If you have such a dish point it at:
Thaicom 5 (78.5 degrees East); Transponder 7G C-band; 3,696MHz, DVB-S signal, symbol rate 3367
North Korean radio (KCBS) is easier to catch. In neighboring countries it can More >
The live stream of North Korea’s KCTV, reported here last week, is currently down. Seoul-based Unification Broadcasting apparently took it offline after a flood of traffic prompted by a South Korean media report on the service. That report was triggered by the posting here.
The stream has apparently been available for sometime but the address only recently started appearing on some Internet forums and message boards related to international TV. Last week’s report on North Korea Tech appears to have brought the service to the attention of the media in Seoul and triggered at least two news reports.
First off the mark More >
North Korea’s main television propaganda mouthpiece is currently available over the Internet. The live stream of Korean Central Television appears to be originate from a South Korean web site — something that puts the site operator in potential violation of South Korea’s National Security Law.
Korean Central Television broadcasts nationwide to North Korea and is relayed over the Thaicom 5 satellite to most of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Its terrestrial signal can also be received in some areas along the country’s northern border with China and Russia, but its signal south of the border is disrupted by South Korean government More >
North Korea’s official news agency and chief propaganda outlet, Korea Central News Agency, will start a Chinese news service this week.
The launch of the service on December 1 comes less than a year after KCNA began distributing news in Japanese and makes 2011 a year of major expansion for KCNA.
KCNA’s output of flattering articles on North Korea’s leadership, political system and progress had been available for years in an, English and Spanish via a website in Tokyo. The Japanese site was run by a group affiliated with the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chosen Soren).
Things started to change in late 2010 More >
The Nautilus Institute contends in a new report that North Korea is on the cusp of digital transformation thanks to the increasing importance of cell phones and computers in the country.
The report, which is available online (PDF), is a comprehensive and well-researched history and study of the emerging digital communications business in North Korea and was written by Alexandre Y. Mansourov, a senior associate at the organization. Mansourov specializes in Korean peninsula issues and once lived in Pyongyang studying for an Advanced Diploma in Korean studies at Kim Il Sung University.
It’s recommended reading for anyone interested in North Korean IT issues.
In the report Mansourov More >
North Korea’s international shortwave broadcaster, the Voice of Korea, will use the following schedule for English language broadcasts from October 31, 2011, until late March 2012.
The programs appear to be refreshed during the local Korean day with each programming cycle beginning with the 1000 GMT broadcast.
The news output, which has not been observed to change more than once a day, follows closely the 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.
Each program is about 55 minutes long.
The annual National Program Contest began on Thursday in Pyongyang, according to North Korean media reports.
The event, which typically takes place in late October each year, opened at the city’s Three Revolution Exhibition Hall with speeches led by Ro Tu Chol, vice-premier of the DPRK Cabinet.
The contest brings together scientists, programmers and students with more than 1,500 computer software programs, reported KCNA. The software is divided into sixteen categories including operating system and security, artificial intelligence and image processing.
North Korean has been pushing software development for the last decade and the event is one of the biggest exhibitions of developed programs.
A series More >