Voice of Korea
|Owner||Government of North Korea|
|Launch date||October 14, 1945|
|Former names||Radio Pyongyang|
|Voice of Korea|
|Revised Romanization||Joseon-ui Sori|
Voice of Korea (Korean: 조선의 소리) is the international broadcasting service of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It broadcasts primarily information in Korean, Chinese, Spanish, German, English, French, Russian, Japanese, and Arabic. Until 2002 it was known as Radio Pyongyang.
Its origins can be traced back to 1936 and 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.
The station officially inaugurated programming on October 14, 1945, with a live broadcast of the victory speech of Kim Il Sung when he returned to Pyongyang at the end of World War II.
Voice of Korea broadcasts on HF or shortwave radio frequencies, as well as on medium wave for broadcasts aimed at neighboring countries. Some frequencies broadcast are well out of the ITU allocated shortwave broadcast bands, making them less susceptible to interference but less likely to be listenable on older receivers.
In 2006 VOK started broadcasting on the same frequency as the Lincolnshire Poacher numbers station It is unknown whether this was an intentional effort to frustrate the Poacher's operators or an accident, as 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.
Voice of Korea also broadcasts on the Thaicom 5 satellite along with KCBS and Korean Central Television.
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. This is interspersed by the station identification and is followed by the North Korean national anthem. On or around important state anniversaries (birth anniversaries of Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un or the anniversary of the founding of the DPRK), this is often followed by the "Song of General Kim Il-sung" and the "Song of General Kim Jong-il".
A news bulletin is then broadcast, with all items from the Korean Central News Agency. If there are any news items about Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il or Kim Jong-un, these top the bulletin. VOK broadcasts generally consist of talks about the lives and achievements of the Kim family, music and features about Korean culture and history.
|VOA, RFE/RL & Radio Martí||497||1,495||1,907||1,901||2,611||1,821|
|China Radio International||66||687||1,267||1,350||1,515||1,620|
|BBC World Service||643||589||723||719||796||1,036|
|Radio Moscow / Voice of Russia||533||1,015||1,908||2,094||1,876||726|
|Radio Cairo (ERTU)||0||301||540||546||605||604|
|IRIB World Service / Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran||12||24||155||175||400||575|
|All India Radio||116||157||271||389||456||500|
|NHK World Radio Japan||0||203||259||259||343||468|
|Radio France Internationale||198||326||200||125||379||459|
|Radio Netherlands Worldwide||127||178||335||289||323||392|
|Israel Radio International||0||91||158||210||253||365|
|Voice of Turkey||40||77||88||199||322||364|
|Radio Pyongyang / Voice of Korea||0||159||330||597||534||364|
|Radio Tirana (RTSH)||26||63||487||560||451||303|
|Radio Romania International||30||159||185||198||199||298|
|Radio Exterior de España||68||202||251||239||403||270|
|Radio Havana Cuba||0||0||320||424||352||203|
|Rai Italia Radio||170||205||165||169||181||203|
|Radio Canada International||85||80||98||134||195||175|
|Radio RSA / Channel Africa||0||63||150||183||156||159|
|Sveriges Radio International||28||114||140||155||167||149|
|Voice of Nigeria||0||0||62||170||120||127|
|Radio Belgrade / International Radio of Serbia||80||70||76||72||96||68|
Source: International Broadcast Audience Research, June 1996
The list includes about a quarter of the world's external broadcasters whose output is both publicly funded and worldwide. Among those excluded are Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and various international commercial and religious stations.
- Does not broadcast on shortwave as of 2013.
- 1996 figures as at June; all other years as at December.
- Before 1991, broadcasting for the former USSR.
- Before 1996, broadcasting for the former Czechoslovakia.
- VOK.rep.kp - Official website (in English)
- Some excerpts of North Korean coded messages broadcast by Radio Pyongyang for secret agents with explanations