Radio Jamming in North Korea

May 14, 2007

On May 13, 2007, Free North Korea Radio posted a message on its website asking the North Korean authorities to stop jamming their broadcast.

The Research Institute for Northeast Asian Broadcasting, a short-wave monitoring group based in South Korea, has recently found out that the North Korean authorities have been conducting intensive jamming of Free North Korea Radio’s short-wave evening program.

Free North Korea Radio plans on sending a letter of protest to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Reporters without Borders, to inform world opinion on North Korea’s grave breach of ethics and internationally accepted broadcasting principles.

Jamming of outside radio broadcasting by the North Korean authorities is not exactly hot news. Although, like many other totalitarian regimes, North Korea does use jamming extensively, this requires a careful choice and targetting of available resources, as one cannot jam all frequencies at all times.

Many Eastern Europeans still have vivid memories of the Cold War and the jamming of Western broadcasts. Both broadcasters and jammers engaged in a “power race,” seeking ways to outpower and bypass the opponent.

Listeners in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet bloc often had to resort to their ingenuity and proved quite resourceful, coming up with devices including homemade directional loop antennas, that allowed them to receive an audible signal through the jamming.

Radio Free Asia’s website also provides some interesting insight on how to piece together an anti-jamming antenna:
http://www.rfa.org/english/support/antijamming/

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