North Korea is testing digital shortwave broadcasting via DRM

As Vatican Radio pulls out of DRM, North Korea moves in. What a strange and shifting international broadcasting landscape:

(Source: North Korea Tech)

North Korea appears to be testing digital radio broadcasting.

Hiroshi Inoue, a radio monitor in Japan, received on Wednesday the country’s international radio service, Voice of Korea, broadcasting on shortwave using DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale). DRM is a digital broadcasting technology developed for use on AM and shortwave services.

[...]The broadcasts are taking place on 3,560MHz, a frequency used by the Voice of Korea in the past for conventional analog shortwave broadcasts.

[...]North Korea’s testing of DRM comes at a time when the country appears to be upgrading its international radio broadcasting system.

In mid-June 2011 the country’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications signed a deal with Beijing-based BBEF Tech for several new radio and television transmitters. The Chinese company trained North Korean engineers in how to install them.

At least one of those transmitters now appears to be on the air. North Korea’s transmissions on 11,680kHz shortwave are now broadcast spot-on that frequency. In the past they drifted a little either side of the correct channel. (Thanks to DX Aktuell for the tip!)

DRMNAinfo comments:

Here are some cool videos of the English language June 7th broadcast and the June 8th broadcast in Korean. As you will hear, the high production values, overly aggressive compression and sibilant laden distortion present in VOK analogue broadcasts translate well to the digital medium of DRM. Now all we have to do is convince Kim Jong-un to aim the antennas our way for some NA reception opportunities!

Additional info here.

I would like to thank Kim Elliott for the news tip on North Korea.

Note that this will be a difficult broadcast to hear and decode in North America, but many regions within Asia will be within the broadcast footprint.

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