Voice of Korea

Voice of Korea (Korean조선 소리; MRChosŏn-ŭi Sori) is the international broadcasting service of North Korea. It broadcasts primarily information in Chinese, Spanish, German, English, French, Russian, Japanese, and Arabic.[1] Until 2002 it was known as Radio Pyongyang. The interval signal is identical to that of Korean Central Television.

Voice of Korea
Vok-logo.png
TypeInternational broadcasting
Country
Ownership
OwnerKorean Central Broadcasting Committee
History
Launch dateOctober 14, 1945
Former names
Radio Pyongyang
Coverage
AvailabilityInternational
Links
Websitewww.vok.rep.kp/index.php/home/main/en Edit this at Wikidata
Voice of Korea
Chosŏn'gŭl
조선의 소리
Hancha
朝鮮의 소리
Revised RomanizationJoseon-ui Sori
McCune–ReischauerChosŏn-ŭi Sori
Voice of Korea interval signal and national anthem received in the UK in May 2013.

HistoryEdit

The origins of Voice of Korea can be traced to 1936 and the radio station JBBK. Operated by the occupying Japanese forces, JBBK broadcast a first and second program as part of Japan's radio network that covered the Korean Peninsula from Seoul.[citation needed]

The station was founded in October 1945 as Radio Pyongyang,[2] and officially inaugurated programming on the 14th, with a live broadcast of the victory speech of Kim Il-sung when he returned to Pyongyang at the end of World War II.[citation needed]

The first foreign broadcast was in Chinese on 16 March 1947. Japanese-language broadcasts began in 1950, followed by English (1951), French and Russian (1963), Spanish (1965), Arabic (1970), and German (1983).[3]

By 1960, Radio Pyongyang broadcast 159 hours of programming every week. In 1970, weekly broadcasting hours totaled 330 hours and by 1980, 597 hours. In 1990 weekly broadcasting time fell to 534 hours per week,[4] 529 in 1994, and 364 in 1996.[3]

In 2002, the station was renamed Voice of Korea.[2]

ProgrammingEdit

Unlike most international broadcasters, Voice of Korea does not broadcast an interval signal in the minutes leading up to the start of the transmission. It instead starts broadcasting the interval signal (the first few notes of the "Song of General Kim Il-sung") on the hour.[citation needed]

A typical program line-up begins with the interval signal, followed by the station announcement "This is Voice of Korea". After the announcement, the national anthem, "Song of General Kim Il-sung" and "Song of General Kim Jong-il" are played. The songs are followed by a news broadcast consisting of Korean Central News Agency items with small adjustments for the radio.[5] If there are any items about Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il or Kim Jong-un, these are the top bulletins.[citation needed]

The news items are typically one day behind the news of the domestic service Korean Central Broadcasting Station. The news is followed by music and an excerpt from Kim Il-sung's memoirs With the Century. After the memoirs, there is more music and feature stories, sometimes followed by an editorial. The 57-minute broadcast concludes with frequency information and a sign-off message.[5]

In the past, the station broadcast coded messages to North Korean spies. This practice ended with the 2000 June 15th North–South Joint Declaration.[2] In 2006, Voice of Korea started broadcasting on 11545 kHz, the same frequency as the former Lincolnshire Poacher numbers station.[6][self-published source] While it is unknown whether this was an intentional effort to interfere with Poacher's propagation or an accident, it is not unknown for Voice of Korea to unintentionally jam its own signal by transmitting programmes in different languages simultaneously on the same frequency.

BroadcastingEdit

Voice of Korea broadcasts on HF or shortwave radio frequencies,[2] as well as on medium wave for broadcasts aimed at neighboring countries. Some frequencies are well out of the ITU-allocated shortwave broadcast bands, making them less susceptible to interference and less likely to be listenable on older receivers.[citation needed] Recently, it has increased the share of satellite broadcasting.[2]

Most of the broadcasts are transmitted from the Kujang shortwave transmitter site (five 200 kW transmitters),[7][3] approximately 25 km from the city of Kujang. (40°04′42.1″N 126°06′42.4″E / 40.078361°N 126.111778°E / 40.078361; 126.111778) [7] A transmitter site in Kanggye (also five 200 kW) is used as well. A site in Pyongyang (10 transmitters of 200 kW) is also in use.[3]

On occasion, Voice of Korea has missed its regular service. The interruptions have not been explained by Voice of Korea, but they are thought to be due to engineering works at the transmitter sites, faulty equipment or because of power outages. In 2012 they occurred when the country was facing one of its worst electricity shortages in years.[8] The off-air periods also affect North Korea's own jamming signals designed to prevent reception of South Korean stations such as Echo of Hope, Voice of the People, and KBS Hanminjok Radio.[9][10]

Voice of Korea broadcasts on the ChinaSat 12 satellite along with Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) and Korean Central Television.[citation needed]

Currently (as of 11 March 2021) it seems, that several foreign language programmes are identical to each other, as exactly the same music is played at the same time, only the spoken and translated parts of the programme have been amended to match the respective program language. This could be monitored by switching from the German evening program on 6170 kHz from 19:00 UTC to the Spanish program on 7570 kHz at 19:00 UTC and back. It also seems, that the shortwave transmitter, which is used for the German language service, has a rather bad modulation. The transmitter for the Spanish programme however seems in better shape.[citation needed]

SchedulesEdit

This is a list of broadcasts of Voice of Korea by language as of August 2019. All times are in UTC.[11]

ArabicEdit

All Arabic broadcasts are transmitted from Kujang.

Starts Ends Frequencies (kHz) Target area
15:00 15:57 9890, 11645 Middle East and North Africa
17:00 17:57 9890, 11645 Middle East and North Africa

ChineseEdit

All Chinese broadcasts are transmitted from Kujang.

Starts Ends Frequencies (kHz) Target area
21:00 21:57 9875, 11635 China
22:00 23:57 9875, 11635 China
05:00 05:57 7220, 9445, 9730 Northeast Asia
08:00 08:57 7220, 9445 Northeast Asia
11:00 11:57 7220, 9445 Northeast Asia
21:00 21:57 7235, 9445 Northeast Asia
22:00 21:57 7235, 9445 Northeast Asia
13:00 13:57 11735, 13650 Southeast Asia
03:30 04:27 13650, 15105 Southeast Asia
06:30 07:27 13650, 15105 Southeast Asia

EnglishEdit

All English broadcasts are transmitted from Kujang.

Starts Ends Frequencies (kHz) Target area
04:00 04:57 11735, 13760, 15180 Central and South America
10:00 10:57 11710, 15180 Central and South America
13:00 13:57 13760, 15245 Europe
15:00 15:57 13760, 15245 Europe
18:00 18:57 13760, 15245 Europe
21:00 21:57 13760, 15245 Europe
16:00 16:57 9890, 11645 Middle East and Northern Africa
19:00 19:57 9875, 11635 Middle East and Northern Africa
13:00 13:57 9435, 11710 North America
15:00 15:57 9435, 11710 North America
04:00 04:57 7220, 9445, 9730 Northeast Asia
06:00 06:57 7220, 9445, 9730 Northeast Asia
19:00 19:57 7210, 11910 Southern Africa
05:00 05:57 13650, 15105 Southeast Asia
10:00 10:57 11735, 13650 Southeast Asia

FrenchEdit

All French broadcasts are transmitted from Kujang.

Starts Ends Frequencies (kHz) Target area
06:00 06:57 11735, 13760, 15180 Central and South America
11:00 11:57 11710, 15180 Central and South America
14:00 14:57 13760, 15245 Europe
16:00 16:57 13760, 15245 Europe
20:00 20:57 13760, 15245 Europe
14:00 14:57 9435, 11710 North America
16:00 16:57 9435, 11710 North America
04:00 04:57 13650, 15105 Southeast Asia
11:00 11:57 11735, 13650 Southeast Asia
18:00 18:57 7210, 11910 Southern Africa
18:00 18:57 9875, 11635 West and Central Africa

GermanEdit

All German broadcasts are transmitted from Kujang (frequency update: 03/2021, as announced on air, see also ADDX)

Starts Ends Frequencies (kHz) Target area
16:00 16:57 6170, 9425 Europe
18:00 18:57 6170, 9425 Europe
19:00 19:57 6170, 9425 Europe


JapaneseEdit

All Japanese broadcasts are transmitted from Kujang, except 621 kHz and 6070 kHz broadcasts, which are transmitted from Chongjin-Ranam and Kanggye respectively.[12]

Starts Ends Frequencies (kHz) Target area
07:00 07:57 621, 9650, 11865 Japan
08:00 08:50 621, 9650, 11865 Japan
09:00 09:57 621, 6070, 9650, 11865 Japan
10:00 10:50 621, 6070, 9650, 11865 Japan
11:00 11:57 621, 6070, 9650, 11865 Japan
12:00 12:50 621, 6070, 9650, 11865 Japan
21:00 21:50 621, 9650, 11865 Japan
22:00 22:57 621, 9650, 11865 Japan
23:00 23:50 621, 9650, 11865 Japan

RussianEdit

All Russian broadcasts are transmitted from Kujang.

Starts Ends Frequencies (kHz) Target area
07:00 07:57 13760, 15245 European Russia
08:00 08:57 13760, 15245 European Russia
14:00 14:57 9425, 12015 European Russia
15:00 15:57 9425, 12015 European Russia
17:00 17:57 9425, 12015 European Russia
07:00 07:57 9875, 11735 Far Eastern Russia
08:00 08:57 9875, 11735 Far Eastern Russia

SpanishEdit

All Spanish broadcasts are transmitted from Kujang (frequency update: 03/2021, as announced on air, see also ADDX)

Starts Ends Frequencies (kHz) Target area
03:00 03:57 11735, 13760, 15180 Central and South America
05:00 05:57 11735, 13760, 15180 Central and South America
19:00 19:57 7570, 12015 Europe
22:00 22:57 7570, 12015 Europe

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Voice of Korea mid-2014 schedule". North Korea Tech. 27 March 2014. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Hoare, James E. (2012). "Voice of Korea". Historical Dictionary of Democratic People's Republic of Korea. London: Scarecrow Press. p. 395. ISBN 978-0-8108-7987-4. Archived from the original on 2017-11-27.
  3. ^ a b c d Wood 2000, p. 158.
  4. ^ Wood 2000, p. 20.
  5. ^ a b "Voice of Korea mid-2014 schedule". North Korea Tech. 27 March 2014. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  6. ^ Info about the clash Archived 2010-06-20 at the Wayback Machine. October 3, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Martyn Williams (April 29, 2011). "Kujang shortwave transmitter site". North Korea Tech. Archived from the original on October 25, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  8. ^ Martyn Williams (February 24, 2012). "DPRK radio disappears". North Korea Tech. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  9. ^ Martyn Williams (July 22, 2013). "Some North Korean external radio, jamming reportedly off air". North Korea Tech. Archived from the original on October 25, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  10. ^ Martyn Williams (March 28, 2012). "Voice of Korea still having problems staying on-air". North Korea Tech. Archived from the original on October 25, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  11. ^ "Bulgarian DX blog: Voice of Korea". Bulgarian DX blog. 2019-04-10. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  12. ^ "Voice of Korea". okalab.hotcom-web.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-08-12.

Works citedEdit

External linksEdit