South Korean Defense Ministry steps up DPRK broadcasts

A radio station believed to be operated by South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense has strengthened its radio broadcasts to North Korea, according to reports from radio monitors in Japan.

MND Radio added extra shortwave frequencies from August 9 in an apparent attempt to get around the DPRK’s heavy jamming of its signal.

The current schedule for the station’s four programs a day now looks like this (all times in GMT)

MND Radio Schedule

0400-0440 on 5900, 6760kHz – Program 1
0500-0535 on 5150, 6435kHz – Program 2
0600-0650 on 5410, 6700kHz – Program 3
0700-0735 on 5290, 6270kHz – Program 4
1000-1035 on 5150, 6435kHz – Program 2 repeat
1100-1150 on 5410, 6700kHz – Program 3 repeat
1200-1240 on 5900, 6760kHz – Program 1 repeat

MND Radio begin broadcasting in late 2011 and has steadily increased its broadcasting hours and the number of frequencies it uses.

The precise identity of the radio station is a mystery — it doesn’t provide any details on air and has no website — but there are several clues that point towards South Korea’s Defense Ministry.

All the clues appeared in documents submitted to the HFCC, a shortwave broadcasting frequency coordination body, in 2011.

Perhaps the most obvious clue was the name of the station: “MND Radio,” an abbreviation commonly used for the Ministry of National Defense. A second was identification of the broadcasting site as “ChunCheon” with the coordinates 37.56N 127.46E. The location is the same listed as that for a KBS shortwave transmitter that targets North Korea.

And finally, the contact information for the radio station in the HFCC database included that of Kim GyuCheol. A participant list for an unrelated conference lists someone with the same name and phone numbers as being a director at the Ministry of National Defense.

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