Radio Korea and KBS World Radio

(QSL’s below the text.)

KBS World Radio in Korea 12 January 2016 via SDR Twente. 0859 Sign on

Outside the gate at the KBS Kimje Transmitter Site.
Outside the gate at the KBS Kimje Transmitter Site. I am the second guy from the left with the funky necktie. 7 July 1977 (Courtesy of Aaron Wigant, as well as the other photos below.)

Radio Korea (and its successors Radio Korea International and  KBS World Radio and its predecessor Voice of Free Korea) has to be my sentimental favorite shortwave radio station. They have been one of my connections  to Korea, where I served as a missionary from 1975 to 1977.


Antenna Farm at KBS Kimje Transmitter Site
Antenna Farm at KBS Kimje Transmitter Site

On 7 July 1977, I had the opportunity to visit the KBS transmitter site at Kimje (김제). You can see the photos here.

Over the years, they issued some rather eye catching and classy QSL cards. I first heard Voice of Free Korea in 1969. Unfortunately, I did not send them a reception report for a QSL card. From what I understand they changed their name to Radio Korea in 1973. Then in 1975, I was called to be a missionary in Korea, so my interest in Radio Korea piqued. Since I was busy as a missionary, my time for listening to the radio was virtually non-existent, but I do remember hearing Radio Korea’s English language program for foreigners on medium wave on 600 and 750 kHz. I even picked up a shortwave broadcast and received a QSL for my reception report.

Mission Slides12.272
Transmitter at KBS Kimje

After I came home from my mission in 1977, I sent off a few more reports and received QSL cards in return. My interest in Radio Korea was in full gear. I listened to their Korean language transmissions to practice my Korean, in addition to listening to their English language programs.

Not sure, but I believe this is the KBS Chonju (전주) Transmitter Site for 567 kHz.
Not sure, but I believe this is the KBS Chonju Transmitter Site for 567 kHz.

In 1983, I became an official monitor and received a new QSL every month. I even listened to their English language program on FM during a three-month long visit to Korea in 1984. My term as an official monitor lasted until 1987 when we moved to Germany. I still sent reception reports to them on a fairly regular basis even after that.

Han, Hee Joo 한 희주
Han, Hee Joo 한 희주

After we moved to Korea in 1989, I began to spend less time listening to Radio Korea, mainly because they no longer broadcast on FM and medium wave and because it was difficult to pick up their shortwave broadcasts. That is because we were so close that their signals would skip over us, and so they were not strong. However, in addition to the American Forces Korean Network (AFKN), I listened to the Korean stations including KBS. I did send a few reception reports to Radio Korea nonetheless.

We returned to the USA in 1997, and discovered that it was still difficult to hear Radio Korea in Maryland. Propagation of their signal to Maryland was not good, and they started to beam their signal elsewhere. Additionally, my schedule did not mesh with their broadcast times. So, my reports were very sporadic.

I collected almost 100 different QSLs from Radio Korea and KBS World Radio, by far the most from any single station. Most of them are for their shortwave transmissions from Kimje. I also have a QSL verifying the reception of a transmission from their transmitter site in Suwon (수원) as well as several QSLs verifying their FM broadcasts in 1984 and a couple QSLs for overseas relay stations.

I hope to be able to listen to KBS World Radio more in the future as time and propagation permits.

You can see the QSL cards that I collected from Radio Korea and KBS World Radio over the years below. They bring back a lot of fond memories to me. Comments are welcome. (Click on the images for enlarged views.)


About KBS World Radio – – accessed 25 September 2015