[KS] Uigwe

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreaweb.ws
Mon Feb 6 10:58:18 EST 2012

Dear All, dear Brother Anthony:

Thank you for posting the link to the online Ŭigwe, the books of  
royal ceremonies of the Chosŏn dynasty with all its images--a  
most valuable record that was just last year returned to Korea (from  

The link was again: http://uigwe.museum.go.kr/

As you already mentioned in your posting there might be technical  
issues. Here some analysis and advice that might help those interested  
in using them:

The technical solution has, to put it short, very major programming problems.

1. You cannot use this on a Mac as it, as usual for many Korean sites,  
requires ActiveX control (of course, on a virtual Windows system on a  
Mac it will work).

2. The main issue is that the site that hosts the add-on READER  
software required to see the images of the actual documents is  
extremely slow! The same is true for the server that hosts the  
documents themselves. Here is what you can do--you need a lot of  

- On a Windows OS, and with "Internet Explorer" 8 or 9, go to e.g.:
Then click on any of the "이미지보기"  
buttons all the way on the right.
You will see a new window popping up (make sure your security settings  
in IE are set to medium or low ... high security settings do NOT work  
... and do not forget to send the Korean National Museum a thank you  
postcard after your PC got hacked), "외규장각  
의궤 PDF Viewer." This Web embedded PDF viewer required a  
file from ePapyrus.com to be downloaded. ePapyrus offers a free (and a  
commercial) viewer application called PdfPro; however, installing that  
viewer (http://www.epapyrus.com/download/download_pdfpro_free.php)  
does unfortunately NOT work. After that just mentioned pop-up  
"외규장각 의궤 PDF Viewer" a  
download link should appear. PROBLEM is here, at least from several  
thousand miles away, that it took about 10 to 12 minutes before that  
link appeared (I am not joking!). So, just get yourself a cup of coffe  
and wait for it:
  --> "Install ... ActiveX control: 'SecureReader.cab' from ePapyrus Inc'"
That is what you should see -- click on it and always confirm with YES  
or INSTALL. Now, because it took so long (unless, maybe, you are in  
Korea or the moon is in the 3rd house), that window 'expired' and your  
Windows OS will tell you so through a warning window--click again YES  
and/or RESEND INFORMATION. Then, I am again not joking here, wait  
another 10 or 12 minutes until you see a new window with an INSTALL  
button in it. Click on INSTALL.
Restart Windows AFTER the ePapyrus Viewer file install completed.

Afterwards, you can use Internet Explorer to see the images of the  
original Ŭigwe books. But be again warned, downloads might easily  
take 20 miutes (at least outside of Korea) and there are various  
scripting errors, e.g. you cannot cancel a download, cannot close the  
viewer application while it downloads, etc.

THANKS again to Brother Anthony who clarified some issues in a private email.

I was also just being made aware of the fact that the ENGLISH website  
of the museum is Potemkin village: you can sign up for some access as  
foreigner to see certain other documents, but then it asks for a  
Korean cell phone number. Very nice! Of course, as we all know, this  
is not the only Korean institution with such protective measures.


Another note, not directly related to above:

A few days ago I wondered what happened to that North Korean TV  
station stream that SPTV, a station in South Korea, had made  
accessible on the Internet:
You probably knew already then. As for me, I only figured that out  
after a few days: the Korea Communications Standards Commission  
(KCSC), the ROK censorship committee for "ethics," has taken it  
offline. Alone in 2011 they deleted 67,300 website posts and entire  
websites. And it is now very clear that right now they are at their  
absolute height of activity. South Korea is probably the only  
democratic capitalist country in the world that performs political  
censoring to such an amazing degree (not sure about Russia). I find  
that shameful! In the case of SPTV it even seems that there is a 2nd  
layer of censorship towards foreign countries: even recorded NK  
broadcasts are are blocked overseas. What a stand-up comedy this is!


Last technical notes:

1. North Korea now has, thanks to the cooperatuion with Egypt's  
Orascom, over one million cell phone users. See related article:
(The northkoreatech.org blog and its author Martyn Williams, by the  
way, are a great source of information.)
I'd like to add from my end that North Korea has three cell phone nets  
now, one outdated, then then Koryolink one metioned here, and then one  
based on Deutsche Telekom technology (hard and software for satelite  
systems). That does make them independent from China for military  
purposes: in short, China can't anymore intercept communication in  
case of war (or any other miltary communication) ... I am just  
applying the logics from their technical setup to politics here --  
tell me if I am wrong. In terms of business, it means that the country  
has now all (!) the capabilities, and more, than the South has when it  
comes to communications technology and networking. That is at least  
what I seem to detect there. And together with Egypt's Orascom they  
could easily create a new international market there. Only they will  
know what the exact plan is, but the high investments that Orascom put  
into the North must have some clear economic aims.

2. "Google Street View" is now available, since about 10 days, for  
Seoul and Pusan:
http://g.co/maps/8svq9  (Seoul)
http://g.co/maps/5vbjg  (Pusan)
(just drag the little yellow man on the left to the map)


Frank Hoffmann

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