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North Korea Expands Retaliatory Loudspeaker Propaganda (yonhapnews.co.kr) 146

jones_supa writes: North Korea has expanded its own loudspeaker broadcasts along the inter-Korean border as a counteraction to South Korea's retaliatory broadcasts critical of the communist nation, sources said Monday. In retaliation for North's nuclear test last Wednesday, South resumed its anti-Pyongyang broadcast campaign two days later, a form of psychological warfare detested by the communist country, where outside information is tightly blocked out. "The North initially operated its own loudspeakers at two locations and has now expanded to several locations," a government source said. "In fact, the anti-South loudspeaker broadcasts appear to be coming from every location where we are broadcasting." The North Korean broadcasts are not clearly audible from the South Korean side of the border, but mostly deal with internal propaganda messages and music promoting its leader Kim Jong-un. "We are not sure if it's an issue of electric power or the performance of the loudspeakers, but the sound is very weak," another government source said.
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North Korea Expands Retaliatory Loudspeaker Propaganda

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  • I know this site took down the slogan "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters" from their logo a long time ago, but when did it morph into this?
    • by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:23PM (#51281015)

      Well, I guess we could discuss the possible reasons why their speakers aren't loud enough? That's nerdy, right?

      • What is there to discuss? We know the reason is that the tubes sending the electricity to the speakers isn't wide enough.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Maybe the don't want South Korea to hear it, they won't believe the propaganda anyway. Likely they just want to 'jam' the signal that is heard in North Korea from the south.

        • That's not it. They just don't have enough North Koreans to scream into the other end.

        • What is there to discuss? We know the reason is that the tubes sending the electricity to the speakers isn't wide enough.

          Those poor North Koreans. If only sanctions weren't in place. Then they could purchase speaker cables that are worthy of their Dear Leader's praises:

          http://www.noiseaddicts.com/20... [noiseaddicts.com]

          On second thought, let's open a window on the sanctions for this. Maybe we could bankrupt them as they trick-out their audio.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:32PM (#51281131)

        Everyone knows that Asians don't make good drivers.

        • Ha, +2 insightful? Shouldn't it be +5 Funny?
        • Everyone knows that Asians don't make good drivers.

          My wife isn't a particularly bad driver, but she still prefers that I drive while she "helps" from the passenger seat.

        • What does it mean, that I read that, and started wondering if the Android drivers on Taiwanese phones are really that bad?
      • I doubt that anyone from North Korea is going to be able to respond with the technical specs of their speaker system without getting shot for doing so.

        South Korea might, though. I wouldn't be surprised if they had some bleeding edge tech from Samsung that has 20X the power of the North Korean system.

        • by mikael ( 484 )

          Is that classified information?

          Reminds me of a showdown between a Jamaican cafe (which liked to blast out Reggae) and another shop which was South Korean. They placed a loudspeaker above their doorway and just played South Korean news.

          • by gtall ( 79522 )

            This is much worse than that, the S. Koreans are blasting (among other things) KPop at the Norks. I'm surprised the Norks haven't launched an attack over this dastardly attack of boys and girls groups. Lil' Kim is probably charging up the Fart-O-Cannon connected to the anterior lobes of his posterior and ready to lob ballistic SBD blobs at Seoul. The U.S. has already imposed a baked beans embargo on the Norks but to no avail...they have Double Secret Weapon...the Kimche-of-the-UnDead. The S. Koreans are qua

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, they are probably more than loud enough for the intended audience: North Koreans who are in earshot of the SK propaganda generators.

      • Back in the day opposing side used to drop propaganda leaflets across enemy territory to ry and plant the seeds of dissent. I can't under stand why a modern version isn't used (ie cheap tablets or mp3 players parachuted from planes) to give the North Koreans an education?
        For the cost of one B2 bomber you could drop one to almost every household in DPRK.
      • by Lakitu ( 136170 )

        Well, I guess we could discuss the possible reasons why their speakers aren't loud enough? That's nerdy, right?

        Please don't unfairly criticize the skills of our engineering brethren stuck in North Korea. It has nothing to do with lack of electricity, or proper materials, or whatever.

        It's because the inverse-square law dictates that the South Koreans broadcasting propaganda to the North must broadcast at a much greater volume than the North Koreans broadcasting propaganda to the North Koreans need to do.

    • Hey! You're right. I never noticed (except for the part about no longer being News or Nerds
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's one thing for South Korea to broadcast propaganda to the North: a prosperous, exciting democratic country can make itself look very appealing to people living in a place as awful as North Korea.

    But what do the North Koreans think that they can possibly achieve by broadcasting propaganda to the South? What could a dour, dangerous regime possibly say to convince people that they're the good guys?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:32PM (#51281125)

      They're not doing this to convince the people in the south of anything. They're just drowning out the South Korean propaganda on their own side.
      That's why they don't care that the sound doesn't carry across the border; it just needs to be louder where their own people can hear it.

    • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:34PM (#51281155)

      To reenforce the idea that they're just as good, not to the south koreans, but to their own.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The obvious explanations are:

      1. The south isn't the target. The intent is to counter/drown out the south's propaganda as heard by the residents of the north. (the "he's lying" gambit").

      2. The people in charge of the north think that the south must face the same challenges with their population being easily convinced to abandon them because they haven't figured out how to solve the problem for themselves.

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @05:01PM (#51281437)

      But what do the North Koreans think that they can possibly achieve by broadcasting propaganda to the South?

      You might be surprised. There are a fair number of North Korea sympathizers in South Korea, especially in the Jeonju region, where the Kim family originates. Before and during WW2, Kim Il Sung led the resistance to the Japanese, and many people, North and South, saw him as a national hero. When the Americans occupied South Korea in 1945, they kept the existing government, which consisted entirely of Koreans that had collaborated with the Japanese, and were detested by most Koreans. When the Korean war started in 1950, many southerners rallied to Kim's effort to unify the nation. Following the war, there was still many people in SK that saw NK as the "true" Korea. Also, NK was actually more prosperous than SK until around 1970 or so, and both governments were repressive. After that, the SK economy took off, they became a democracy, and support for NK faded, but it has not entirely disappeared.

      • How long would that support last if they were actually in NK?
        • That's certainly a part of it. It's a lot easier to believe the propaganda when you're not directly confronted with the truth on a day to day basis. That doesn't make them any less wrong or delusional, but it's not unimaginable. People in general can bring themselves to believe some incredibly insane shit, especially when they've surrounded themselves with a lot of like-minded individuals. Studies have shown that pointing out the truth of the matter just causes them to become even more fervent about it, bec
          • People in general can bring themselves to believe some incredibly insane shit, especially when they've surrounded themselves with a lot of like-minded individuals. Studies have shown that pointing out the truth of the matter just causes them to become even more fervent about it, because by that point, they've made those falsehoods a part of their belief system, and attacks on those beliefs are the same as attacks on their very sense of self.

            Sounds like Emacs vs Vi, console/OS/car/etc fanboys.

            By the way, you

    • by gmack ( 197796 )

      You have to remember the place is a large personality cult run by a childish megalomaniac and many North Koreans think they have it better than those in the south. Even if they know better, they must still act as if they have total faith that North Korea is the best place in the world to live if they want to avoid a reeducation camp or worse yet (especially if they are in leadership) execution.

  • by ickleberry ( 864871 ) <web@pineapple.vg> on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:21PM (#51280983) Homepage
    Have the South Koreans made any notable technological advances in increasing the maximum range of a speaker or making highly directional speakers that can reach Pyongyang from across the DMZ?
    • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:26PM (#51281051) Homepage Journal
      Yes. Unfortunately the new speakers arrived and the directions were all in Chinese.
      • There I was hoping a bunch of young nerds at KAIST had found a way to send a highly directional magnetic field at the Ryugyong hotel or some statue of Kim Il Sung causing it to reverberate to the tune of op, op, oppa Gangnam style...heyyyyy sexy lady and traumatising all loyal Kim dynasty followers within a 4 mile radius
    • LOL ... Oh, I don't know if you need that much in the way of advances ... my brother used to have a car I could hear coming when it was still well over a mile away because of the god-awful crazy stereo in it ... our dog could hear it from much further and came out of his house to wait.

      I'm pretty sure most rock bands have probably solved the problem of maximum range of a speaker.

      More loudly. That's it.

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      Only option would be to bounce radio waves off the ionosphere. It worked back in 1989. People in Scotland could receive local FM stations from Norway. But you need a high class solar flare for that to work.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      A Parametric Speaker [wikipedia.org] travels long distances and is highly directional. They basically work by emitting the sound as ultrasonic waves (which because of their higher frequency, do not have the dispersal as lower frequency waves do). When those waves bounce off something, it causes a downmix to happen bringing the audio back to audible hearing range.

      But the sound travels farther, and if it hits you dead on, it sounds like it's coming from inside your head. And it's directional so while you're broadcasting, peo

    • Have the South Koreans made any notable technological advances in increasing the maximum range of a speaker

      No, but the French have. Devialet Silver Phantom produces 105 dB sound pressure levels [slashgear.com]

    • No the Wang Pong is over 100 km from the DMZ but they may be using phase arrays to make their rigs far more directional.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The North seems to be broadcasting Katy Perry's song "Firework" over and over again for some mysterious reason.
  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:23PM (#51281013) Homepage

    THat's when happens when you import reverse engineered jensen speakers. Amateurs.

    Me?? JBLs, Kickers, etc with Ministry and KMFDM blasted to 11!

    • Me?? JBLs, Kickers, etc with Ministry and KMFDM blasted to 11!

      When I become president for life, I'm appointing you Minister of Music.

  • Whoever has the highest decibel reading in the center of the DMZ wins the title "Best Korea"

    The south will rise again!!!

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:25PM (#51281047) Homepage
    Sure, a loudspeaker campaign might not seem like the most tactful or appropriate means to an end of nearly half a century of aggression but take for a moment to consider this: Korea, both north and south, has succeeded in creating the worlds only 160 mile long insufferable asian shouting contest. Thats right. while problems like global warming, climate change, systemic poverty, famine, and clean potable drinking water exist around the globe we can all take comfort in knowing Korea, both north and south, have taken the important first step of solving the major global defecit of a 160 mile audible pissing contest.
    • by Howitzer86 ( 964585 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:37PM (#51281183)

      You've listed: climate change, climate change, poverty, poverty, and poverty.

      Some people care about things you may not care about. Not everyone's hyperbolic about western liberal talking points. Some people are more concerned about local issues, like the hundreds of artillery shells trained on their cities for the past half century by an extremely hostile enemy with nuclear weapons.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:40PM (#51281223) Homepage

      Korea, both north and south, has succeeded in creating the worlds only 160 mile long insufferable asian shouting contest

      Which, arguably, is better than a shooting contest.

      Don't forget, North and South Korea are still technically at war with one another.

      Frankly, I'd rather the pissing contest ... because all of the stuff you say would happen even more so as a result of them resuming open warfare. But, hey, they could go back to killing one another by the thousands if you somehow think that's better.

    • .... we can all take comfort in knowing Korea, both north and south, have taken the important first step of solving the major global defecit of a 160 mile audible pissing contest.

      There are no civilians within miles of the DMZ. "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

    • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

      while problems like global warming, climate change, systemic poverty, famine, and clean potable drinking water

      I strongly suspect the audible pissing contest, is a better alternative on every single issue you mention to a shooting war on the Korean peninsula.

  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:27PM (#51281073)

    Am I the only one amused the Korean War has come to the point of being a literal shouting match between the two countries?

    • I'm pretty sure the rockets pointed at Seoul are more powerful than any pen.
    • The penis, mightier than the sword.

      • by Shawn Willden ( 2914343 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:40PM (#51281219)

        The penis, mightier than the sword.

        My dad's neighbor's Wifi SSID was "penismightier". It surprised me the first time I saw it (this is a pretty conservative Mormon area) until I manged to mentally reparse it. I pointed it out to my dad, who said he'd been laughing about it every time he saw it, ever since they set it up. My mom finally mentioned it to the neighbors one day and they were shocked and horrified. They had never noticed the "phallic" parse, believe it or not. They changed it immediately.

        • There is a reason the difference between a Moron and a Mormon is a single letter.
          • There is a reason the difference between a Moron and a Mormon is a single letter.

            Because Mormons tend not to have dirty minds? I'm a Mormon, BTW.

            • I'm NOT LDS but am privileged to have many as friends, so I'll answer this. No, because lots of Yanks hate Mormons because THEY are morons.
            • Because Mormons tend not to have dirty minds? I'm a Mormon, BTW.

              I don't have a problem with people who don't have dirty minds. I have a problem with people who do have dirty minds and are determined to not only not enjoy it, but to make sure others don't enjoy it either.

              IE "penismightier" gets a giggle out of me and I proceed on with life. I don't embarrass my neighbors over it, though as mentioned, I might bring it up in a polite way to make sure they understand ALL the meanings.

              In this case, at least you and your parents weren't calling, for example, for a law again

        • The penis, mightier than the sword.

          My dad's neighbor's Wifi SSID was "penismightier". It surprised me the first time I saw it (this is a pretty conservative Mormon area) until I manged to mentally reparse it. I pointed it out to my dad, who said he'd been laughing about it every time he saw it, ever since they set it up. My mom finally mentioned it to the neighbors one day and they were shocked and horrified. They had never noticed the "phallic" parse, believe it or not. They changed it immediately.

          Like this Samsung ad gone wrong...
          http://static.ibnlive.in.com/i... [in.com]

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      S.K.: "You are a big dummy head!"

      N.K.: "You are an extra big dummy head!"

      S.K.: "You are a doo doo face!"

      N.K.: "You are an extra big doo doo face; and extra stinky!"

      S.K.: "I know you are, but what am I?"

      N.K.: "A big stupid!"

      S.K. "Well, your mother wears army boots!"

      N.K.: "So, what's wrong with that?"

      Etc...

    • All of this reminded me of the lunacy of the movie Dr. Strangeglove, with military leaders explaining about the Mine Gap.

      We need more speakers, bigger and louder ones too, otherwise our enemies will have a speaker advantage!

  • with loudspeakers on them?

    Not trying to give anyone any ideas.

    • Overflights by government aircraft are pretty clearly casus belli

      See, why everyone freaked out about Turkey claiming Russia was overflying their space. The difference is Turkey (as a NATO member) and Russia (as, well Russia) are not eager for war. Cause, you know, the planet ending consequences. N. Korea may be crazy enough, and S. Korea could be all but wiped out but the artillery alone before anyone can hit back.

  • The response to offensive speech is speech that drowns out the offensive speech?

    I suppose to Kim Jong Il that's an obviously-true statement. Well, when one can't just shoot the source of the offensive speech, anyway.

    • I suppose to Kim Jong Il that's an obviously-true statement. Well, when one can't just shoot the source of the offensive speech, anyway.

      Wait, Kim Jong-Il rose from the dead? Man, no wonder those North Koreans think he's a god!

  • Lockheed Martin has already won the contract to build a much larger, louder loudspeaker. It will cost $40 billion, with construction spread across every Congressional district, and take an estimated 10 years to complete--but it will be worth it in the end to show the Red Menace that Uncle Sam means BUSINESS!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why don't they just use noise cancelling technology and take the inverse of the soundwave that is blaring at them and blast it out also?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      That is position-sensitive. It would only work for a specific point. Move a few inches and you would have double the sound...
    • Why don't they just

      "Just"? That's a bit like asking why we don't "just" build a space elevator instead of all this farting around with rockets.

  • Wondering whether they settled on a common BPM and whether both tracks are synced from time to time.

  • It's the quality that matters. They should have used tube/thermionic valve amplifiers, in class A.

    • Back in the day, the USA produced a speaker powered by a V-8 Hemi. It was intended to be mounted on a tall tower and blast out emergency sirens for dozens of miles.

      The mythbusters hooked a speaker up to a 4 cylinder diesel to try to break the car windows, but that wasn't as loud.

      • Back in the day, the USA produced a speaker powered by a V-8 Hemi. It was intended to be mounted on a tall tower and blast out emergency sirens for dozens of miles.

        The mythbusters hooked a speaker up to a 4 cylinder diesel to try to break the car windows, but that wasn't as loud.

        A siren or a speaker? I can see an engine pumping air into a forced cavity oscillation, but as a generator for an electrically amplified speaker, a V-8 Hemi would be pretty dumb.

  • In my imagination, once side is playing Party Rock Anthem and the other side is blasting Meshuggah's Bleed.

    https://youtu.be/qc98u-eGzlc [youtu.be]

    https://youtu.be/pIOOwhmkoLo [youtu.be]

    I haven't decided which side is playing which.

  • Sorry, but socialism doesn't get any more attractive even when it's blasted at you at 150 dB.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The North Korean broadcasts are not clearly audible from the South Korean side of the border, but mostly deal with internal propaganda messages and music promoting its leader Kim Jong-un. "We are not sure if it's an issue of electric power or the performance of the loudspeakers, but the sound is very weak," another government source said.

    It most certainly is rather an issue of directivity. The North Korean loudspeakers will most certainly point into North Korea. They are not "retaliation" but are drowning

  • North Korea Expands Retaliatory Loudspeaker Propaganda

    It's not so much retaliatory as mitigatory.

  • They didn't spring for the Audioquest Everest cables with Counter Spiralling Geometry and Spread Spectrum Technology. Only 21 grand, American.
  • I have an impression that the capital of Western Roman Empire just moved to the D.C.

    It still includes Gaul, Visigoths, Britannia, the border still fluctuates along Danube river.

    Now the North Korea. Is it really necessary to include it too? Why for a change not to allow this people to have their own history? Let them sort out their issues themselves.
  • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @06:07PM (#51282065)

    They (the North) are just making noise so their own people cannot hear the propaganda from the south. Is this so hard to understand? EVERYTHING the North does is about how it plays INTERNALLY which is why they come across so nutty to the outside world. NK must carefully control the "truth" as it is commonly understood within their country.

    If the reality of the situation where ever understood by the North Korean masses they would be in open revolt and fleeing their country. If they ever caught on that the majority of the world isn't starving and generally laughs at their "supreme leader" as being a fat slob who keeps his people poor and destitute in his quest for keeping power it would all be over in days. That North Korea is generally considered a joke, and that it's military power, though dangerous, is out matched, out gunned and out manned. That the minefields in the DMZ do more to keep citizens in North Korea than keeping military forces from the south out. That they are starving, only because the "Little Un" must stay in power.

    So they are pointing their speakers the same direction as the South's are. They are all pointed north. Which is why you cannot hear them in the South, because it wouldn't matter and North Korea knows it.

    • I would like to know the nature of the South's "propaganda" broadcasts. If the South is simply providing factual information about the outside world to residents of the North, "propaganda" is not a good term for it.

      • One man's truth is another's propaganda you know...

        What do you THINK they are saying? I'm guessing that it's something like, "Come on over the DMZ the water is warm over here, we will welcome you with open arms and help you." Along with stuff like "Un is lying to you... " and "A unified Korea is possible!"

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @06:32PM (#51282297) Homepage

    If I had control of loudspeakers that could cover a large area like that, I would have it repeat a recording of someone saying "ok google show me silly pictures of Kim Jong-un." Unfortunately, they probably don't have too many smart phones over there.

    • Probably no smart phones, no Internet, no Wi-Fi, no 3G/4G/5G/etc, no cellphone towers, etc.

      In fact, I've heard they don't even have electricity, water, food, houses, clothes, molecules or atoms.

  • ....mostly deal with internal propaganda messages and music promoting its leader Kim Jong-un.

    There for a minute i thought it would be something truly horrendously horrible... like rap or country music.

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