Tag Archives: North Korea

North Korea: Information Gathering in the World’s Most Restrictive Nation

If you’ve been an SWLing Post reader for long, you’ll have “met” him virtually; if you’ve been in attendance the Winter SWL Fest recently, you’ll recognize him, may have heard him speak, and perhaps even have met him in person.  I’m speaking, of course, of my good friend, Post contributor, and fellow radio listener, Mark Fahey.

What you might not know about Mark, an intrepid Aussie and mediahound of remarkable facility and clarity, is that he has spent many years (and significant personal resources) compiling a fascinating and invaluable multi-media project in the form of an iBook he’s titled Behind The Curtain, which allows outsiders a frank view directly into North Korean propaganda.

What’s astounding is that this view is from within North Korea: Mark, having traveled to North Korea numerous times (until he made his research public, that is, thus limiting his re-entry), successfully rips back North Korea’s curtain of self-image to reveal, in all its stultified glory, the inner workings––and failings––of the”Hermit Kingdom.”

He’s now very near to publishing  Behind The Curtain, and he’s making available the iBook––as well as all of the media and research he’s curated––for free.

HOPE X

During the summer of 2014 Mark ventured to New York City to present his research at HOPE X (Hackers On Planet Earth). Yesterday, I rediscovered the video of Mark’s presentation at HOPE X on YouTube. If you’re interested in North Korea, propaganda, number stations, SDRs, and/or anthropology of any stripe, you’ll certainly enjoy this presentation, which is truly like no other:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Intrigued?  So am I!

Behind The Curtain doesn’t yet have a formal release date, but stay tuned to the Post for details about its availability, as well as any other presentations or projects on this (or any other subject!) by Mark.

Download Behind The Curtain from the Apple store by clicking here.

Chris’ Seoul AM Radio Listening Guide now live

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Chris Kadlec, who shares the following announcement about his Seoul AM Radio Listening Guide:

After a long 14 months of work, I’m happy to present the completed Seoul AM Radio Listening Guide, a three-hour documentary broadcast exploring the Seoul AM band one frequency at a time, plus a look at the radio war on the Korean peninsula accompanied by a 115-page guide.

http://www.beaglebass.com/dx/seoul/

In addition to radio broadcasts from across East Asia, the broadcast includes Korean noise jammers and AM, FM, shortwave, and television propaganda broadcasts from both the north and the south, additionally outlined in a 25-page broadcast transcript and 115-page informational guide. It also includes:

* A comprehensive list of 260 East Asian AM stations, including station names, tower locations, distance and direction from Seoul, parallel FM frequencies, broadcast hours, and station website links.

* A full bandscan of 235 regular nightly skywave signals as heard after the sun sets over Seoul.

* Daytime groundwave bandscans taken from eleven different locations in the Seoul metro area, along the North Korean border, beside the sea, and in Korea’s mountainous interior with background information about each location.

* A guide showing stations organized by their network affiliations in addition to privately-owned stations and networks. Alternatively, stations are also shown organized by country, region, and city.

* A chart showing signal strength for each bandscan – day and night – in bar graph format.

* A full colour-coded regional station map covering both skywave and groundwave signals.

* A view of some of Korea’s signal jammers as seen on an SDR (software-defined radio).

* Plus, a complete transcript of the three-hour audio broadcast with additional information on the featured audio clips as well as the songs featured in those clips.

– Chris Kadlec

Brilliant, Chris! I can only imagine the amount of time and effort you’ve put into this guide. Thank you!

Korean jammers and propaganda stations

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Chris Kadlec, who has kindly (and upon my request) shared this interesting audio survey of Korean jammers and propaganda stations.

This is the final 45 minutes of my 3-hour – exactly 3 hours – broadcast of East Asia AM radio (skywave as heard from Seoul, frequency by frequency).

Click here to download or play in a new window.

This includes jammers and propaganda stations on TV, FM, AM, and SW, though the AM band is covered in the first 2 hours. Some stations covered include Voice of the People, Echo of Hope, Jayuui Sori, Jayu FM, and Korean Central Television, as well as a look at the sounds of more than 30 Korean jammers one frequency at a time.

At the end of this month, the first 2 hrs. 15 min. will be released with a 60+ page guide, broadcast transcript with all song titles from the broadcast, and station map and all audio will be posted in a (somewhat) visible location. This project has taken 14 months to complete, so I truly hope you’ll take the time to become educated on the radio wars on the Korean peninsula. And if you’re too busy now, this part will be included in the full broadcast coming soon, so do not fret!

This is fascinating, Chris.  Thank you for taking the time to share this with us–I imagine you’ve put in a number of days recording, editing, and narrating this fine spectrum survey. I’m also certain our community member, Mark Fahey, will love this (if he hasn’t already discovered your work)!

Please keep us updated on your project!

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Voice of Korea

north_korean_propagandaMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who shares the following:

This is the English service broadcast for The Voice Of Korea to “Latin America” from Kujang, North Korea. Recorded 0430-0530UTC October 17, 2016 using a Tecsun PL-880, Wellbrook ALA1530LNP, EmTech ZM2 antenna tuner and DXEngineering HF Preamp.

Listening location is Galena, Alaska. A village of 500 people in the rural central interior, 300 miles east of Nome and 300 miles west of Fairbanks.

I would give this a SINPO Rating of 66666!

Check out this image taken of the front of the Tecsun PL-880 while listening to this broadcast, showing just how strong the signal is.

img_3322

I was a bit surprised, never seen something this high before, especially on shortwave!

Click here to view on YouTube.

Numbers Stations and the two Koreas

SWLingPost-Spy-Numbers-Station

(Source: 38 North via Mike Barraclough)

A little after midnight, early on the morning of July 15, as most of the Korean peninsula slept, were North Korean spies up late listening to the radio?

This was the big question after a strange sequence of numbers was read out on a North Korean radio station. It sounded a lot like the coded messages previously used to relay instructions to spies during the Cold War and perhaps that was the point.

The broadcast began at 12:45am, according to the Joong Ang Ilbo.

“From now on, I will give review work for the subject of mathematics under the curriculum of a remote education university for exploration agents of the 27th bureau.”

It continued, “On page 459, question number 35, on page 913, question number 55, on page 135, question number 86, on page 257, question number 2,” and so on. It lasted for 14 minutes.[…]

Continue reading…

The 38 North article also included YouTube clips of Korean numbers stations, including this one from South Korea (2011):

Click here to view on YouTube.