NORTH Korea’s bizarre coded radio messages have returned to the airwaves ahead of the Winter Olympics sparking fears over what the signals might mean.
Gentle music followed by a stern voice reading out orders apparently from a spy’s code book have once again been drifting over on shortwave radio from Kim Jong-un’s kingdom.
Known as numbers stations, this activity has reappeared in the weeks before the so-called Peace Olympics takes over Pyeongchang, Daily Star Online can reveal.
Recorded by an amateur radio operator all the way over in the US, the unsettling radio message seems meaningless to anyone but the intended listener.
North Korea has been on a “charm offensive” as it cosies up to the South ahead of the games, with the two enemies due to march together at the opening ceremony under the banner of a united Korea.
Fears remain over Kim’s intentions however, and the reappearance of the numbers station will only fuel suspicions of the North.
Daily Star Online has obtained audio of the latest transmission from the numbers station – known as V15 – which has been sounding off ahead of the Winter Olympics.
Orchestral music plays on the broadcast, which is carried by Radio Pyongyang, before a woman’s voice begins
She begins to bark repetitive orders, appearing to give questions and answers from a textbook with corresponding numbers and page numbers.
The voice is not automated and appears to be a real North Korean operative reading out the numbers live.
Four of these messages have been recorded over the past 20 days in the run-up to the Olympics.
For around six-and-a-half minutes the woman reads out the repetitive codes before signing-off and being replaced by eerie distorted operatic music.
This was recorded back on January 20 and came drifting across the 2.5-mile-wide wasteland that separates North and South Korea.
It was captured at around 11.45pm, according to the radio operator who made the recording.
Numbers stations are designed to give spies secret orders using a cipher book, which is full of codes that allow them to work out their orders.
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Another two messages were also detected, one on January 25, February 3, and February 8.
This practice was prolific during the heady days of the Cold War, but it appears Kim keeps his agents tuning in.
North Korea is believed to have spies operating in neighboring South Korea, with which it has remained technically at war with since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
Kim kicked off the Olympics with a massive military parade as he flaunted his latest weapons to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army.
Seoul and Olympic bosses are keeping their fingers crossed North Korea behaves itself during the games from February 9 to 25.
They come after a year of extreme tensions and high fears of war as the US and Kim squared up to one another over his quest for nuclear ICBMs.
North Korea still seems reluctant to put its nukes on the negotiating table, and murmurs of conflict still hang over the Korean Peninsula.