Radio Intrigue with Don Schimmel


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Report #039 05/01/03

AGENTURA - This Web site yielded another interesting item. U.S. Author David Wise was interviewed and the results published in the Press Section on 30 April 2003. This interview appears in English rather than Russian, the latter being the case for most of the Agentura material. It was again noted that there still has not been any new entries since 4 November 2002 in the Security & Intelligence Digest by Aleksey Shcherbakov. Is he ill, on vacation, or??

UNIDENTIFIED LOGGING - Last month I commented on an unidentified transmission which was reported on the WUN net. The signal had been notated as being Hangul Morse Code. I spent additional time searching the Web and some language publications trying to locate definitive details regarding this type of Morse code. One Web site had a brief explanation of the history of the code. It was invented by Kim Hak-Woo in 1844 and has been in use in almost the original form since then and continues in use today. The code was developed, using as a base, the vowels and consonants of Hangul. The Korean language is composed of 25 characters, 14 consonants and 11 vowels. For Morse transmissions the International Morse code is utilized. There are 26 letters, figures 1-0, and 13 punctuation characters. There is also a cut number version which is 1-0 = A U V 4 5 6 B D N T.

While not exact, here are a few depictions of International Morse characters and the Hangul equivalents. Morse A, L, H, B, and F look like an upside down T, an E, a T, a C, and an L respectively. The full charts can be viewed at www.sunpr.co.kr/HAM-morsecode.htm. If your computer is not able to print Korean characters will be print out garbage. If you can print the charts you will notice a couple errors. On the International Morse side the letter U was incorrectly shown as dot dash dot which of course is the Morse code for the letter R. On the Korean character side of the chart there are two entries showing the Morse letter R. I was not able to determine which entry on that side was correct and which one was ion error.

When I first saw the term Hangul Morse I thought this would be a typical system which had additional characters used such as # $ & *, etc to represent special characters of the particular language. This is not the case with Hangul Morse. As mentioned previously the International Morse code is used and the texts sent in letter groups which are converted into the corresponding Korean language characters at the receiving addressee. This letter to character equivalency does not hold true for the ITA2 third-shift Korean. According to Klingenfuss in the Radio Data Code Manual, Edition 15, the Korean teleprinter alphabet is composed of 32 characters but 6 are infrequently used. Therefore the teletype alphabet has 26 characters. As an example of the difference, in 3rd shift Korean the English letter N equates to the Korean character which looks like a letter L. But ion the Hangul Morse application, the English letter N represents an entirely different character than the former.

For those who might like to research this subject a bit further here are some language references: Manual of Foreign Languages by George F. vonOstermann; Languages of Asia and the Pacific by Professor Charles Hamblin; and The Languages of the World by Kenneth Katzner.
End of Report

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2003 Don Schimmel.