A hackathon that aimed to find new ways to get information in, out and around North Korea took place over the weekend in San Francisco. The event, called “Hack North Korea,” was organized by New York-based charity Human Rights Foundation and brought together programmers, human rights campaigners and defectors.
Several teams spent the weekend working on ideas that would enable digital information to be concealed, hidden or otherwise transmitted without raising the suspicion of authorities. The ideas ran from the low-tech, using a catapult to fling things across the Yalu River that divides North Korea and China, to the high-tech, involving satellites, stenography and information More >
Last week I wrote about the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations on U.S. carriers or aircraft using North Korean airspace. They prohibit flight in most of the skies controlled by Pyongyang but allow it — with caution — in a portion east of 132 degrees East latitude.
The ban is in place because of North Korea’s unpredictable short- and medium-range missile launches and uncertainties over just how good the coordination is between civil air traffic controllers and the military. The rules are in place to avoid an aircraft getting shot down, either by mistake or due to a misunderstanding.
So, I decided to More >
Speaking during a news conference at The Pentagon on Tuesday, Admiral Sam Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, said he was concerned that the international community was becoming “numb” to them.
“Over and over and over again, you see it and you become somewhat numb to it, immune to it, and you start to say, well, it’s not such a big deal,” he said.
North Korea has fired a number of missiles from bases across the country into the More >
Engineers from North Korea and seven other nations are being given training in technology related to China’s Beidou (Compass) satellite navigation system this week, according to Chinese media reports.
The engineers are attending a course in Hubei province being put on by the National Remote Sensing Center. The organization is part of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and is charged with development of the Beidou system.
Beidou is a satellite navigation system developed to reduce Chinese reliance on the U.S. Navstar Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system. It’s one of several new satellite navigation networks being launched to supplement the American system. Satellite navigation has More >
The planned expansion of the U.S. missile defense shield to guard against potential threats from North Korea and other nations will cost $5.8 billion over the coming years, according to an estimate released this week.
The estimate was made by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in response to a question from Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator for Alabama and a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. They examine the cost of the system over the last few years and its likely cost over the coming five years.
It reveals that the Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program has cost just under $9 More >
The shooting down of MH17 over Ukraine has raised awareness of a series of restrictions the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has placed on aircraft operating around the world, including over North Korea.
North Korean airspace extends well beyond the land borders of the country to include a large portion of the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and, to a lesser extent, a region over the Yellow Sea (West Sea.) It’s called the Pyongyang FIR (flight information region) and is shown in the map below.
The FAA regulations date back to April 1997, when North Korea began allowing foreign airlines to fly through its airspace. That included U.S. carriers, but More >
South Korea’s latest attempt to sway the minds of the North Korean people looks like a dud before it’s even begun.
This month, the South Korean military begins regular programming on a new shortwave radio station aimed at the DPRK, but the selection of frequency, low transmitter power and aggressive jamming means few if anyone in the DPRK can probably hear it.
Voice of Freedom began several years ago on FM along the border. The use of FM hobbled the station because the signals typically only travel a few tens of kilometers and are susceptible to being blocked by the many hills in the area.
The website of the Korean Association of Cooks offers hundreds of recipes in addition to an introduction to restaurants in North Korea and details of the cooking association.
State media first reported on its launch in March 2012 and again in January of 2013 but both times it wasn’t accessible from the Internet. It was assumed to be an internal site on the Kwangmyong nationwide intranet system accessible in libraries and schools.
A “hackathon” planned for August aims to harness the technical prowess of Silicon Valley in coming up with new ways to get information safely into North Korea.
“Hack North Korea” will take place in San Francisco and has been organized by The Human Rights Foundation, a New York-based group that earlier this year helped sent USB thumb drives loaded with Wikipedia across the inter-Korean border in balloons.
The event won’t be engaging in any computer hacking in the malicious sense. Rather, it will be hacking in the sense of coming up with new ways to “spark better ideas for getting information into the world’s most More >
The United States and several other nations have written to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) over North Korea’s failure to notify it of missile launches.
Over the past couple of weeks, short and medium-range missile have been fired by North Korea into the sea to the east of the country on a handful of occasions. Each launch took place without a standard warning to air and ship traffic.
“On July 8, the U.S. co-signed a letter to the president of ICAO expressing concern with the serious threat posed to international aviation posed by More >