ARRL Okays P5/3Z9DX North Korea Operation for DXCC
The ARRL DXCC Department has approved for DXCC credit the unexpected P5/3Z9DX “demonstration” operation from North Korea last December. Well-traveled Polish DXer Dom Grzyb, 3Z9DX, has said he expects to be back in North Korea — officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) — for his “official” activation by late summer. P5/3Z9DX showed up on the air from the most-wanted DXCC entity on December 20 and 21 to demonstrate Amateur Radio for North Korean officials. During that activation — the first in more than a decade — P5/3Z9DX made nearly 785 SSB contacts, most of them on 15 meters. Nearly 600 of the contacts were with stations in Asia; P5/3Z9DX worked just 26 stations in North America. He posted his log on ClubLog.
Some unsubstantiated claims were floated following the pre-Christmas P5/3Z9DX operation that Grzyb was not really operating from North Korea.
In January Grzyb contacted The Daily DX Editor Bernie McClenny, W3UR. During his visit to North Korea, Grzyb told McClenny, authorities were friendly and polite, and that he was surprised that they allowed him to operate. P5/3Z9DX reported being severely hampered by extremely high noise levels on all HF bands, not to mention a geomagnetic storm. Noise, he said, made it “almost impossible” to copy weaker signals in Pyongyang. When he goes back to the DPRK this summer, he expects to operate from a far quieter location in a rural area, Grzyb told The Daily DX.
His equipment was left behind in Pyongyang, as agreed to before his December visit. The P5/3Z9DX preview was the first from North Korea since the 2001-2002 operation by Ed Giorgadze, 4L4FN.