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Live TV Stream Offers Glimpse into Entertainment in North Korea

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North Korea Tech shared an amazing link yesterday that is apparently a live stream of Korea Central Television, i.e. the DPRK’s official TV station. I’ve been watching it for the last half-hour, and even though I don’t speak a word of Korean, it’s still pretty damn interesting!

You can watch the stream using this link, but the easiest way to watch it is using a client like VLC (if you don’t have VLC, grab it here because it’s great). Using VLC, choose “Open Network” in the File menu and then copy-paste this URL: http://112.170.78.145:50000/chosun

From North Korea Tech:

[The stream is] apparently the work of Seoul-based Unification Broadcasting and, according to various postings in Internet discussion boards, has been sporadically available for several months.

In our experience, the stream has been a bit unstable. Connecting from China, I’ve been able to stream it smoothly with occasional drops in the connection, but not everyone on our team has had as good luck, so your results may vary. Also, as noted above, the station just displays a test pattern most of the time, with programming occuring between around 17:00-23:00 Pyongyang time, it seems.

In terms of programming, it’s pretty clear even to someone who speaks no Korean that this is some propaganda-tastic stuff. Right now they’re blasting some tunes backed with inspiring images of workers and slogans; earlier there was a short piece that appeared to be about how awesome it is to work in a North Korean coal mine. (OK, I have no idea what they were saying, but everyone was in a coal mine and they all seemed happy and excited.) There’s also a lot of music matched with slideshows of natural beauty like mountains and lakes from (I assume) North Korea, and I saw one show that appeared to be an old woman reading from a book, telling a story about the North Korean army in winter.

Anyway, in case the live stream doesn’t work for you, here’s a taste of what we saw:

Even though it’s tough to understand without the language skills, a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think it’s still worth checking out the feed to see the sort of stuff that plays on North Korean TV during primetime.

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sparks flying from construction on some skyscrapers, apparently

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News broadcast: this isn't a bad screen capture, he did almost the entire broadcast without looking up from his desk.

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An interview with some soldiers, one of whom has a guitar for some reason.

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This is the weather lady. Apparently some parts of the DPRK can expect snow this week.

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part of a montage of still images set to an upbeat women's choir piece

[Via North Korea Tech]



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