North Koreans continue to seek out foreign radio despite crackdown
Police in North Korea have recently focused their attention on cracking down on listeners of South Korean radio broadcasts in another sign of the government’s dual-approach to warming ties with the South, according to a source inside the country.
Speaking from Ryanggang Province on April 24, a source told Daily NK that “police have begun inspections of households possessing radios,” explaining that one method used to restrict radio usage includes applying stickers to the tuning buttons to prevent users from finding foreign broadcasts.
State-approved radios in North Korea are fixed to prevent tuning to non-official stations, but the authorities have used additional methods in recent times to handle the increasing amount of personal radios in the country. In addition to radio controls, authorities also place heavy restrictions on DVD players, phones, televisions, and other media devices.[…]
North Korea has been from the beginning of March continually signal jamming radio broadcasts on the shortwave frequency used by the South Korean non-profit broadcaster Unification Media Group (UMG). Given the present situation, in which North Korean residents might be influenced by outside information condemning the regime and explaining the purpose of the sanctions imposed by the United Nations, the regime has showed the will to block sources of outside information that might cause unrest.
The shortwave frequency […] in question, 7515 [kHz], has been actively jammed starting on March 1st making it extremely difficult for North Korean listeners to tune in. On the 15, UMG organization began using three receivers to test out reception at that and adjacent frequencies on a daily basis and was able to confirm that the exact signal is being jammed.
The blocking effort is being concentrated on the time period from 10pm- midnight. Specifically, from 10-11pm the jamming is very strong. The signal jamming is undetectable from midnight to 1am. The signal blocking became weaker at midnight on March 15, from which point onward the entire three hour broadcast was audible. Starting on the 17, UMG moved the frequency, but the jamming operators seemed not to notice because the interference continued on the old wavelength.