KCBS Pyongyang: December 3, 2016

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Anthony Messina, who shares the following recording and notes:

This recording was taken at 15kHz filtering, and is for historical purposes. It was taken via using the globaltuners.com node in Daegu, South Korea tuned to 2850kHz which is the domestic SW frequency of the DPRK. 2850kHz simulcasts the same broadcast on their MW frequency of 819kHz. 819kHz is listenable via this node, but it is usually met with noise jamming from the ROK and the 2850kHz frequency was booming in and much nicer to listen to. I will make more recordings of the many DPRK stations, including their 819kHz station. 
It was taken on the 3rd of December, 2016 at 5:02pm EST

Voice of Korea: October 17, 2016

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Paul Walker, who notes:

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 PL880, Welbrook 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

KCBS Pyongyang: April 9, 2016

Korean Central Broadcasting Station, Pyongyang recorded in London, UK on April 9, 2016 at 1601 UTC, on the frequency of 11680 kHz using AirSpy, SpyVerter, SDR# software and a 2 x 6m long wire dipole antenna. SDR#'s IF noise reduction plugin was used to mitigate the severe levels of static arising from poor propagation conditions. The non-directional transmitter has a power rating of 50 kW and is located in Kanggye, DPRK.

KCBS Pyongyang: September 17, 2015

Korean Central Broadcasting Station, Pyongyang recorded in London, UK on September 17, 2015 at 1605 UTC, on the frequency of 9665 kHz using SDRPlay with SDR# software and a 2 x 6m long wire dipole. The non-directional transmitter has a power rating of 50 kW and is located in Kanggye, DPRK. From NorthKoreaTech:

The Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) (Korean: 조선중앙방송, Chinese: 朝鲜中央放送, Japanese: 朝鮮中央放送) is the main domestic radio network in the DPRK. It sits under the Central Broadcasting Committee of the DPRK (called the Radio and Television Committee of the DPRK until 2009).
KCBS broadcasts from 5am to 3am local time via a network of mediumwave and shortwave transmitters that cover the nation. The powerful transmissions can easily be heard in neighboring countries, including South Korea where some of its frequencies are jammed.
A central program is broadcast from Pyongyang on most transmitters through the entire broadcast day, but some are reported to carry regional programming between 2pm and 3pm.
All programming is in Korean and includes music, talk and news.

The station appears to be a difficult catch in Europe because of the relatively low power and the non-directional mode of the transmission, and because of frequency clashes with China Radio International, Radio Cairo and Radio Voz Missionaria of Brazil. Indeed this recording was made in the small time window between CRI's Pashto and Hausa broadcasts, the latter of which can be heard starting at the end of the recording.

Furusato No Kaze: September 17, 2015

Furusato No Kaze recorded in London, UK on September 17, 2015 at 1600 UTC, on the frequency of 9960 kHz using SDRPlay with SDR# software and a 2 x 6m long wire dipole. The transmitter has a power rating of 100 kW and is located in Palau. From NorthKoreaTech:

Shortwave radio remains a vitally important way to reach into North Korea because of the total lack of international communications offered to its citizens. 
Furusato no Kaze (ふるさとの風, Hometown Wind) is run by the Japanese government and targets any Japanese citizens that were abducted by North Korea and remain alive in the country. There are two programs: Furusato no Kaze in Japanese and Nippon no Kaze (il bon ue baram, Japan Wind) in Korean. The first and last broadcasts of each day come from transmitters in Taiwan while the rest are from Palau.

You can also hear what appear to be North Korean jamming attempts in the background.

Voice of Korea, Sign-off: May 9, 2015

Many thanks to Anthony Messina, for this recording of the Voice of Korea sign off on 15.180 MHz using his Grundig Satellite 750 with External Solarcon in Haddon Heights, NJ USA. Anthony comments:

"Recorded using a panasonic tape recorder to do it the old fashioned way. At the end I mention exactly what time I recorded this."

Voice of Korea: August 9, 2014

North Korea propaganda poster

North Korea propaganda poster

Many thanks to SWAA contributor, Frank, for this recording of Voice of Korea's English language service. 

Recorded in Europe on August 9, 2014 starting at 16:00 UTC on 11,645 kHz. Frank used a Kenwood R-5000 receiver and Wellbrook ALA 1530+ antenna.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Voice of Korea, English: August 17, 2014

North Korea Propaganda Poster

North Korea Propaganda Poster

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Andre Bagley, who submits this recent recording of the Voice of Korea. Andre writes:

"Voice Of Korea is the international radio service of North Korea (officially known as the Democratic Republic of Korea). Most broadcasts of Voice Of Korea only have one or two stories that are either anti-American, anti-South Korean, or ant-Japanese. However, this particular broadcast's news segment seems to be solely dedicated to insulting it's enemies. Here we have North Korean commentary on the current Israel-Hamas conflict on the Gaza Strip, where the United States is blamed for the mess in their report. South Korea is declared a "colony" of the United States, and much more!

The program follows the exact same format for every broadcast:

:00 Opening signal, station identification: “This is Voice of Korea”

:01 National Anthem

:03 Song of General Kim Il Sung

:06 Song of General Kim Jong Il

:09 News, editorials (approx 15 minutes, but can be extended to full broadcast), followed by music

:30 Reminiscences of Great Leader President Kim Il Sung

:40 Music and features

:50 Editorial, special message (occasional)

:55 Frequency information

:57 Close

The broadcast was recorded using a Olympus VN-702 voice recorder hooked up to a Tecsun PL-600 Shortwave receiver using a random wire antenna. Broadcast was received on 11710 khz between1500-1557 UTC."

Click here to download as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Voice of Korea, English: July 6, 2014

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, London Shortwave, for this recording of the Voice of Korea's English language service.from July 6, 2014 starting at 21:00 UTC on 13,760 kHz. 

Note that this recording was made in London, England in the presence of strong RFI (radio frequency interference). The contributor used his complex RFI-defeating system (which includes phased magnetic loop antennas and digital noise reduction) in order to cancel much of the noise. The end result is much easier to hear, but sounds more "digital" than the typical recording posted here on the SRAA. London Shortwave proves, though, that you don't have to give up SWLing if you live in a high-density urban neighborhood.

Voice of Korea, English: May 15, 2014

PYONGYANG METRO STATION (ORIGINAL SOURCE: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

PYONGYANG METRO STATION (ORIGINAL SOURCE: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Many thanks to SWAA contributor, Frank, for this recording of the Voice of Korea's English language service. 

Frank recorded this broadcast of VOK from his home in Europe on May 15, 2014, on 11,645 kHz, starting at 16:00 UTC, using a Kenwood R-5000 receiver and a Wellbrook ALA 1530+ antenna.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Voice of Korea: March 27, 2014

Many thanks to SWAA contributor, Frank, for this recording of the Voice of Korea's English language service. 

Frank recorded this broadcast of VOK from his home in Europe on March 27, 2014, on 7,570 kHz, starting at 21:00 UTC, using a Kenwood R-5000 receiver and a Wellbrook ALA 1530+ antenna.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Voice of Korea: February 14, 2014

The Tower of Juche Idea statue, Pyongyang, North Korea (Photo:  Martyn Williams) .

The Tower of Juche Idea statue, Pyongyang, North Korea (Photo: Martyn Williams).

Many thanks to SWAA contributor, Frank, for this recording of the Voice of Korea's English language service. Incidentally, you may have noticed that Frank is a very regular contributor here on the SWAA, and we are most grateful for his excellent recordings.

Frank recorded this broadcast of VOK from his home in Europe on February 14, 2014, on 7,570 kHz, starting at 15:00 UTC, using a Kenwood R-5000 receiver and a Wellbrook ALA 1530+ antenna.

Note that VOK mentions the "Shining Star Day": a celebration of the late Kim Jong Il's 72nd birthday. Click here for a VOR report on Shining Star Day.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Of course, the Voice of Korea is all about broadcasting hard-core propaganda--a type of broadcast I find incredibly fascinating. But let there be no mistake, to live in the DPRK is to live under one of the world's most oppressive regimes.  If you want to hear a moving, inspirational story about one North Korean woman's escape from the DPRK, click here to view Hyeonseo Lee's: My escape from North Korea, a TED Talk.

Voice of Korea: November 13, 2013

Pyongyang Metro Station (Original Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Pyongyang Metro Station (Original Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Many thanks to SWAA contributor, Frank, for this recording of theVoice of Korea's English language service.

Frank recorded this broadcast from his home in Europe on November 13, 2013, on 11,645 kHz, starting at 16:00 UTC, using a Kenwood R-5000 receiver and a Wellbrook ALA 1530+ antenna.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Propaganda from the source: Listening to the Voice of Korea on shortwave radio

FlagNorthKorea

One of the countries dominating the headlines of global news lately is North Korea. As Kim Jong-un raises tensions and rattles his nuclear saber, the rest of the world is attempting to determine if this is a egotistical show of power for the benefit of all observers (as with previous leaders) or if there is real intention behind the rhetoric. Just this morning Pyongyang has warned that Tokyo would be a primary strike target if war were to break out, or if their test missile is downed; they've even moved their missile launch pad into position.

Regardless of outcome of these provocations, I know that the bulk of the North Korean population will suffer. North Korean mainstream "news" consists of images of military parades in the immaculate capital city of Pyongyang; but the reality is that most of the population live in rural North Korea, which is subject to severe food shortages and extreme poverty.

We know North Korea is a country that carefully controls and manipulates their media internally; they also broadcast the same flavor of propaganda externally on shortwave radio via the Voice of Korea.

As shortwave radio listeners, we have the distinct advantage of being able to listen directly to the case of North Korea. We can actually hear (and analyze for ourselves) the North Korea propaganda directly from the source. Note that it's not uncommon for the Voice of Korea to unexpectedly go off air, likely due to power shortages: this fact is much more suggestive of the of general conditions in the country than the "news" itself.

Depending on where you live in the world, your ability to hear the (relatively weak) Voice of Korea will vary.  If you live in the Asia/Pacific region, the station is very audible.

Yesterday morning at 10:00 UTC, I recorded an hour of their English broadcast to South America on 11.71 MHz. You can download an mp3 of the recording by clicking here, or simply listen via the embedded player below.

Below, you'll also find the current broadcast schedule for the Voice of Korea English service courtesy of North Korea Tech:

NorthKoreaMap

VOK English (time in UTC)

  • 04:00 on 7220, 9445, 9730 kHz to Northeast Asia
  • 04: 00 on 11735, 13760, 15180 kHzto Central & South America
  • 05:00 on 13650, 15105 kHzto Southeast Asia
  • 06:00 on 7220, 9445, 9730 kHzto Northeast Asia
  • 10:00 on 11710, 15180 kHzto Central & South America
  • 10:00 on 11735, 13650 kHzto Southeast Asia
  • 13:00 on 13760, 15245 kHzto Western Europe
  • 13:00 on 9435, 11710 kHzto North America
  • 15:00 on 13760, 15245 kHzto Western Europe
  • 15:00 on 9435, 11710 kHzto North America
  • 16:00 on 9890, 11645 kHzto Near & Middle East; North Africa
  • 18:00 on 13760, 15245 kHzto Western Europe
  • 19:00 on 7210, 11910 kHzto South Africa
  • 19:00 on 9875, 11635 kHzto Near & Middle East; North Africa
  • 21:00 on 13760, 15245 kHzto Western Europe

For a full schedule of the Voice of Korea, please visit this page on North Korea Tech.

Reader Chris shares travel recordings: Voice of Mongolia, Korea

Map pointing to Truk Lagoon (Source: truk-lagoon.com) SWLing Post reader, Chris Johnson, recently sent me a message confessing his love of travel combined with shortwave radio listening. When he told me about his enviable plans to travel to the tiny islands of Truk Lagoon in the Federated States of Micronesia--and to record some of the broadcasts he heard--I asked if he would allow me to share his recordings on the Post. Fortunately for us, he agreed!

Below are two of his recordings, the first from the Voice of Mongolia, the second from the Voice of Korea. Both happen to be very difficult stations to catch here in eastern North America. His comments follow each recording:

Voice of Mongolia Shortwave Broadcast to Asia and Europe. Using a Sony ICF-SW7600G with a whip antenna. Recorded on 29 January 2013 at 1030z on 12085 khz from the Blue Lagoon Resort, Truk Lagoon, Federated States of Micronesia. The broadcast interval signal begins at 1:35

Voice of Korea; Recorded on a Sony ICF-SW7600G using a whip antenna. 7 February 2013 on 15100 khz at 0500z Location; Puka Beach, Boracay Island, Philippines. The program was scheduled for 60 minutes but due to the frequent power outages in the DPRK, the program ceased at approximately 52 minutes.

Thanks, Chris!