P5 – North Korea
North Korea has remained at the top of all “Most Wanted” lists for my entire DX-ing “career”, which is since July, 2001.
When I worked P5/4L4FN on 15M and 10M with a ladder line fed doublet – 35′ off the ground, and 100 watts – I figured everyone did as well. It was by far the easiest “ultra rare” entity that I have worked in my 11 1/2 years of DX-ing.
In 2002 I was a real greenhorn DX-er. I had been DX-ing one year, but had heard that Edward, 4L4FN – with the UN Food Program, had given the times he expected to be on the air. I successfully guessed 15M and 10M because on each day – I had my rig tuned to the frequency that had been posted “somewhere” – [probably The Daily DX], and voila! I worked him before the pileups ensued.
His signal – like any from that part of the world was a solid S9 +, and always easy to work. It was afternoon – and still close to the second peak of Cycle 23, so that meant conditions were a pipeline between North Korea and the West Coast – and all water as well!
The website for this operation has been maintained by Bruce, KK5DO:
I also had no idea when it had been activated before or what the prospects were to activate it again, but now I know just how grim that prospect is.
Here was an attempt made by Hrane, YT1AD to activate P5:
North Korea has certainly been in the news, and here is what Wikipedia says about the country:
The only other DX-pedition that I know of – or can find is one made by Martii Lane, P51BH, and he had activated P5 several times in the 90′s:
There have been at least one “infamous / fake” activation by Roman Stepanenko:
There is not a lot on the web regarding North Korea or amateur activations, but here is a list of the one’s that I know of – and I will update when readers fill me in on what I am missing:
1995 – P51BH, P5/OH2AM – P51BH made a couple hundred QSO’s and P5/OH2AM – 20 – something QSO’s. There was some confusion as to whether this was supposed to be just a “demonstration” followed by some controversy over this as a new country activation.
1999 – P51BH
2002 – P5/4L4FN – 16,000 + QSO’s
I think there are less than 20,000 hams that have P5, but I could be wrong. Edwards activation resulted in something like 16000 QSO’s, and Martti Lane’s were in the hundreds (all of his activations combined) from what I have been able to find.