Voice of Korea
|Owner||Government of North Korea|
|October 14, 1945|
|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 Chinese, Spanish, German, English, French, Russian, Japanese, and Arabic. Until 2002 it was known as Radio Pyongyang. The Interval Signal is identical to the one of Korean Central Television.
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[self-published source] 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.
On occasion, VOK has missed its regular service. The interruptions have not been explained by VOK, 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. 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 Bangsong.
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.
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. If there are any items about Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il or Kim Jong-un, these top the bulletin. The news items are typically one day behind the news of the domestic service Korea 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 fifty-seven-minute broadcast is concluded with frequency information and a sign-off message.
|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 2014.
- 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.
- REE ceased all shortwave broadcasts in October 2014 but announced in December that it would resume shortwave transmission in Spanish only for four hours a day in order to accommodate Spanish fishing trawlers who were otherwise unable to receive REE at sea.
- "Voice of Korea mid-2014 schedule". North Korea Tech. 27 March 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Martyn Williams (April 29, 2011). "Kujang shortwave transmitter site". North Korea Tech. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Info about the clash. October 3, 2010.
- Martyn Williams (February 24, 2012). "DPRK radio disappears". North Korea Tech. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Martyn Williams (July 22, 2013). "Some North Korean external radio, jamming reportedly off air". North Korea Tech. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Martyn Williams (March 28, 2012). "Voice of Korea still having problems staying on-air". North Korea Tech. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- VOK.rep.kp - Official website (in English)
- Some excerpts of North Korean coded messages broadcast by Radio Pyongyang for secret agents with explanations