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Special envoys use a fax machine for communication

Posted March. 06, 2018 07:44,   

Updated March. 06, 2018 07:44


South Korea’s high-level delegation headed by National Security Office Chief Chung Eui-yong arrived at the state guest house Baek Hwa Won in Pyongyang Monday, and the first thing they did upon arrival was to install a fax machine equipped with encryption and scrambling devices, as well as a satellite telephone. The special delegation reported to South Korea’s presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae about their arrival in Pyongyang through the fax machine, the first news from the special envoys.

According to Cheong Wa Dae, the fax machine and satellite telephone are to serve as a “hot line” between the envoys and the presidential office during the delegation’s two-day visit to North Korea, and a person familiar with the devices reportedly accompanied the delegation. Among the two, the fax machine will be the government’s primary choice as it safely encrypts a message before sending while the satellite telephone has security concerns, an official at Cheong Wa Dae said. The satellite telephone, due to concerns of possible eavesdropping or monitoring, will be only used in an emergency.

The photos of the South Korean delegation in Pyongyang were sent via the satellite telephone. The country’s reporters, even the presidential office’s exclusive photographers, were not allowed to accompany the special delegation. Thus, the photos provided by the North were sent to Cheong Wa Dae via an e-mail using satellite networks, and made public to the press.

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com · In-Chan Hwang hic@donga.com