priyom.org

Network

The North Korean diplomatic shortwave network follows a forwarding tree structure, as they limit contacts between their stations to hops of usually no more than 5000 kilometers. Pyongyang sits at the root at the tree structure, as ultimate origin or recipient of all messages between it and embassies. Messages from Pyongyang are transmitted and relayed by North Korean embassies across the world, hop by hop along each branch of the distribution tree, until they are received by their final recipients. Messages from embassies are relayed and forwarded back to Pyongyang in the reverse way.

Embassies in the network are typically equipped with an 8-element shortwave LPDA. Stations are identified in two different ways:

  • The address appears as the first byte of each packet in the DPRK-ARQ protocol, and identifies the peer station on the link - the destination of the packets rather than their source.
  • The ID is used in the message headers to identify the origin or recipients of the messages. Historically they already appeared in former DPRK diplomatic transmission formats, prior to the DPRK-ARQ modem.

Station locations can be determined from signal propagation observations, direction-finding and triangulation, the presence and orientation of antennas on embassy buildings, contents of cleartext messages, and identifying information (countries, time zones, phone numbers...) mentioned in cleartext operator chatter.

ID Address Location Upstream station
- 0xD3 Pyongyang -
- 0xA5 Moscow Pyongyang
MF02 0xA4 Warsaw Moscow
MF03 0xA6 Prague
MF04 0xA8 Bucharest
MF06 0xAA Sofia
MF08 0xAB Berlin
MF11 0xAD Stockholm
MF12 ? ? Kathmandu
MF15 0xB4 Vienna Moscow
MF16 - Bern Geneva
MF17 0xB3 Rome Moscow
MF21 0xB5 Geneva
MF23 0xBC Ulaanbaatar Pyongyang
MF24 0xBD Hanoi
MF25 0xBE Vientiane Jakarta
MF26 ? ? Hanoi
MF27 ? ? Jakarta
MF29 0xC2 Jakarta Pyongyang
MF30 0xC3 Kathmandu
MF31 0xC4 New Delhi
MF32 0xC6 ? Kathmandu
MF33 0xC7 ? New Delhi
MF35 0xCA Tehran
MF36 0xCC Damascus  
MF38 0xC8 Phnom Penh Hanoi
MF40 0xAC Madrid Moscow
MF41 ? ?  
MF45 0xCD Cairo Tripoli
MF46 0xCE Tripoli Moscow
MF49 ? ?  
MF50 0xE4 Yangon Hanoi
MF51 0xD6 Dakar  
MF53 0xD2 Conakry Tripoli
MF59 0xB1 ? Addis Ababa
MF63 0xD4 Malabo Cairo
MF66 0xD5 Kinshasa Tripoli
MF69 0xD0 Addis Ababa  
MF70 0xD1 Pretoria Addis Ababa
MF71 ? ?  
MF76 0x64 Luanda Tripoli
MF78 ? ?  
MF79 0xD8 Havana  
MF86 0xDF Caracas Havana
MF91 0xCF Kuwait City Damascus
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