Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blog Logs - clandestine monitoring

Today's edition of Blog Logs, represent a sampling of clandestine loggings from the pages of DX Window. Our special thanks to Anker Petersen and the members of Danish Shortwave Club International.
Gayle Van Horn

All times UTC // parallel frequency

Clandestines - via DX Window # 377

11500, Radio Free Chosun, via Gavar, Armenia, 1320, May 23, talks in Korean, light music, ex 12125, SINPO 342x3. (Liangas)

"When I was taking part in the student movement of the 1980s, the most encouraging thing was broadcasts towards South Korea from North Korea. We used to use the broadcast contents for our educational and propaganda materials. Of course, due to that activism, which was a National Security Law violation, I went to prison in the early 1990s". Lee Kwang Baik, the President of R Free Chosun (RFC), a lesser-known SW radio broadcast NGO in South Korea, explained his experience of executing a 180-degree turn from pro-North Korea social activist into North Korean democratization activist to Daily NK on Monday. He confessed, "In the mid-1990s, for the first time, I figured out that North Korea was not an ideal society, but a dictatorship in which the regime abused people’s human rights in the extreme just to maintain the system". In light of which, Lee introduced RFC’s goal, "North Korea should develop its economy through democratization and opening and reform. RFC is a broadcasting company to help North Korean people achieve this and to speak as a proxy for the North Korean people’s position and sentiment, so we named the organization RFC; not "Radio Free North Korea", but "Radio Free Chosun"". Chosun is how North Koreans refer to their own country.

Below is extracts of a transcript of the interview with Lee Kwang Baik:

- There are four civilian radio broadcasters for North Korea and also two foreign radio broadcasts like RFA and VOA targeting North Korea. What is the difference between you and them?

There are three different points. First, RFC has a distinct purpose: "North Korea should develop its economy through democratization and reform and opening", and we are striving to help North Korean people achieve it. Second, RFC is a broadcaster in which everyone, wherever they come from, can join our activities. Presently, North Koreans, South Koreans and Chinese cooperate on our goals. Third, RFC transfers overseas information by way of drama, so that North Korean people can understand easily and get it vividly.

- What are RFC’s representative programs?

We have "Episodes and Truth" that lets North Korean people perceive the truth of current issues, and a drama "Virtual Court of Kim Jong Il", that shows how extreme a dictatorship North Korea has, how terribly people suffer under the Kim Jong Il regime, and other hidden stories of the dictator. Additionally, we have also comments and statements in order to suggest
better directions for North Korea’s future.

- How many North Korean people do you think listen to RFC? How far away can North Korean people listen to it? Are you monitoring the broadcasting situation?

According to the results of InterMedia’s examination in 2008, the rate of those who had listened to RFC was around five percent, but we presume around one or two percent of people are listening to it. However, I think even this rate is significant. The first aim of RFC is to raise the listener rate to two or three percent in a few years. It is short wave radio broadcasting, so everywhere on earth people can listen to it. As long as jamming by the North Korean regime does not exist, it can be heard all over the country.

- You must want a lot from the South Korean government.

The government needs to support radio broadcasting with medium-wave frequencies, which are more stable than short wave ones, in order to lead North Korea to change itself, and it has to do so strategically, because of course the North Korean issue is a highly significant issue for the future of the Korean Peninsula. The state-owned Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) airs programs for the North Korean people at medium-wave, but it has to focus not only on transferring information but on having an interest in changing North Korean society. (The Daily North Korea Post via Sælaen in DXplorer)

11760, Voice of Oromia Liberation Front, via Wertachtal (500 kW, 135 degrees), Tu/Th/Su 1600-1630 Oromo to Ethiopia. New frequency since May 03, ex 11975. Broker WRMI and Media Broadcast. (Ivanov via BC-DX, May 15)

12050, Radio Biafra, via Skelton, UK, 1908, May 19, talks about politics in Nigeria, telephone calls to London and other places , mention on activism and non violence, mixed talks in Igbo and English, short mentions of Biafra, SINPO 45544. (Liangas)

Clandestines via DX Window 378
6518, Voice of the People, via Goyang, South Korea, 1905-1908, May 27, Korean talk, SINPO 35333 // 6600 . (Mille)

7520, Voice of Free Radio, via Tashkent, Uzbekistan (100 kW, 060 degrees), 1600-1700, ex 1600-1630 on 7530, Korean to North Korea as of Jun 01. Broker VTCommunications, UK. (Ivanov via BC-DX, Jun 02)

9895, Radio Voice of the People, via Talata-Volonondry, Madagascar, 0443-0456*, May 29, interview in English about violence in Zimbabwe, local vocals and more talks until closedown ann including postal and electronic contact information plus website. Fair to good. (D'Angelo)

11500, Radio Dabanga. Received a non detailed QSL-card with a full detailed handwritten confirmation on it for a reception report sent to Press Now, Witte Kruislaan 55, 1217 AM Hilversum, The Netherlands. No veri-signer. (Fernández, via HCDX, Jun 07)

11530, Denge Mezopotamia, via Mykolaiv, Ukraine, 1552, Jun 03, Kurdish talks, music, good. (Bernardini)

13730, Radio Dabanga, via Talata-Volonondry, Madagascar, 1531, Jun 03, many IDs and talks in Arabic, fair/good. (Bernardini)

15650, Miraya FM, via Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia, 1545, Jun 03, to Sudan, in English and "Simple Arab" as announced, talks, mail address, ID, fair/good, but fading. Broker IRRS. (Bernardini)

Clandestines via DX Window 379
3912, Voice of the People (presumed), via Kyonggi-do, South Korea, 0942-1008, Jun 10 and 15, Korean talks mentioning “Pyongyang”, slow instrumental music as a bridge to a some eloquent female talks. From 0955 strange noise sounding like a "strong wind" turninng to a near annoyed listening, until QRM SINPO 34333. (Otávio)

3930, Radio Voice of Kurdistan, 0152, Jun 06, Kurdish music and talk, at *0158 strong QRM unidentified, at 0200 a song of the Qur'an, ann and what appears to be an anthem, signal improvement, but the QRM is strong, SINPO 22332. (Freitas). Jamming! (Ed)

3985, Echo of Hope (tentative), Hwaseong, South Korea, 1002-1013, Jun 15, Korean talks, degrading, SSB QRM, same kind of noise heard on 3912, SINPO 2422. (Otávio)

6120, Shiokaze/Sea Breeze, via Yamata, 1403, Jun 12, for a long time now they have stayed with English on Friday. Heard with “Today’s News Flash”, items about North Korea, fair with no jamming. (Howard)

6300, RADS - R Nacional Saharaui, 2220-2232, Jun 12, many talks in Arabic and some music, SINPO 24342. (Slaen)

7395, Voice of People, via Talata-Volonondry, Madagascar, 1701, Jun 20, Shona/Ndebele, ID, short African music and talk, SINPO 25332. (Freitas)

9895, Radio Voice of the People, via Talata-Volonondry, Madagascar, *0358-0424, Jun 09, open carrier until sudden opening at 0400 with instrumental music, ID and frequency ann in local language followed by the same in English. After instrumental music, news in local language, mix of short vocals and other features. Good. (D'Angelo)

11500, Radio Dabanga, via Talata-Volonondry, Madagascar, 1549-1605, Jun 14, conversation, whistle of a strong carrier, but disappears in narrow mode and 1 kHz above the frequency, seems an interview by telephone, 1605 ID, weak signal. (Freitas)

15412.0, Voice of Tibet, via Yangiyul, Tajikistan, noted carrier at 1324, Jun 12, along with strong Firedrake (non-stop Chinese music jamming) on 15410.0. Firedrake off at 1330, leaving Voice of Tibet in the clear on 15412.0. After 1335 Voice of Tibet was heard on 15414.0 with fair reception and Firedrake starting up again at 1335, again on 15410.0. At 1400* both Voice of Tibet and Firedrake suddenly went off-the-air. (Howard)