North Korea activates numbers station?

Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post contributors who’ve shared this particular item from The National Interest:

North Korea Broadcasts Really Strange Messages As New Nuclear Weapons Test Looms

Pyongyang is reportedly broadcasting encrypted messages reminiscent of those used to contact spies during the Cold War.

[…]As North Korea prepares to mark a key anniversary — the birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il-sung — a U.S. Navy carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson is on its way to Korea.

[…]Radio Pyongyang began broadcasting peculiar messages at 1:15 a.m. (local time). The messages included numbers and pages, such as No. 69 on page 823, No. 92 on page 467, and No. 100 on page 957.“I’m giving review works in elementary information technology lessons of the remote education university for No. 27 expedition agents,” the broadcaster explained before repeating her message.

The messages are broadcast over shortwave radio.

Yonhap News Agency reports the numbers are different from past announcements. Since June of last year, Pyongyang has broadcast its messages 32 times.

Continue reading the full article on The National Interest website…

Update: Since I haven’t gotten any direct listener reports regarding this numbers station’s reactivation, I’ve added a question mark in the title. Please comment if you’ve logged this station (and we’d all love a recording!).

6 thoughts on “North Korea activates numbers station?

  1. w6vrf

    I’m new to SWL, but my limited exposure and short time as a general class amateur leads me to think these broadcasts need to occur at night for maximum propagation.

    Assuming that’s true, 01:00 Korea time is daylight for all of continental US. I think Hawaii is still dark, but it doesn’t fit the idea of distributed sleeper cells awaiting orders.

    Can you chime in regarding my observation?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. John Figliozzi

      Yeah, well, the Daily Caller and The National Interest don’t possess much of a reputation for accuracy in reporting, so…

      Reply
  2. Mark Fahey

    The Pyongyang numbers (designated V15) have either become less regular or changed their schedule since March. Its been a few months since I have personally received them – but I also haven’t been specifically tuning in for them lately so maybe I have simply missed noticing a timing change.

    If you want to find the North Korean numbers, they are read out in a block between songs within the regular programing of the Pyongyang Pangsong radio station. The choice of music immediately before the number block seems to indicate which recipient agent the transmission is directed to. For Agent 27 “We Will Go Together with a Song Of Joy” is played, whereas Agent 21’s song is “Spring of my Hometown.”

    The announcements typically take between 5 to 10 minutes to read dependent on the number of digits passed. The transmission schedule is variable; in early 2017 the broadcast alternated with a cycle of one week on Thursday night at 12:45AM Pyongyang Time (1615 UTC) and the following week on Saturday night at 11:45PM Pyongyang Time (1515 UTC).??

    Pyongyang Pangsong can be heard on these shortwave band frequencies (it is also on MF & FM on the Korean peninsular):
     
    3250 kHz Pyongyang 100KW Transmitter
    3320 kHz, Pyongyang 50KW Transmitter??6400 kHa Kanggye 50KW Transmitter

    Happy hunting!

    Reply
    1. Garrett

      Mark – Are you actually looking for current numbers station transmissions in Asia (or were you, as your message said you have not been since March) or was this just happenstance that you found this and recorded it?

      Reply
  3. Pingback: How to find the Pyongyang numbers station (V15) including an off-air recording | The SWLing Post

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