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Shinhŭng Chemical Complex

Other Name: 신흥화학연합기업소; Sinhŭng Chemical Plant (신흥화학공장)
Location: Shinhŭng-kun (신흥군), South Hamgyŏng Province (함경남도), North Korea
Subordinate To: 5th Machine Industry Bureau (제5기계산업총국), Second Economic Committee (제2경제위원회) for chemical weapons production; the Ministry of Chemical Industry (화학공업성) for civilian production
Size: 1,235,870 square meters
Facility Status: Unknown

In April 1995, the Rodong Sinmun reported that the Shinhŭng Chemical Complex had "one or more" absorption towers, recovery furnaces, vacuum pumps, and washing towers, as well as catalytic recovery processing equipment. In June 1996, the Pyongyang Times reported that "the production of vinyl chloride is increasing at the Shinhŭng Chemical Complex." None of the products known to be produced at this facility, with the possible exception of vinyl chloride, would have much direct use in the manufacture of CW agents. Despite allegations of producing "unknown CW-related agents," given current open source information, it is difficult to ascribe Shinhŭng as a site for CW agent or weapon manufacturing. In February 1995, the Rodong Sinmun described one or more synthesis towers at the complex's Youth Vinyl Chloride Workshop, with more related equipment located at the Agricultural Chemicals Workshop. The complex also administers the Sŏngch'ŏngang Chemical Complex (城川江化學工場) and the Yongsŏng Chemical Factory (龍城化學工場), which "specializes in the production of dyes and paints." The Hŭngnam Pharmaceutical Factory (興南製藥工場) is also associated with the Shinhŭng Chemical Complex.

Exterior view of the Shinhŭng Chemical Complex
Source: Foreign Trade of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, February 1994

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production at the Shinhŭng Chemical Complex.
Source: The P'yongyang Times, June 1996

Process control room, Shinhŭng Chemical Complex
Source: Foreign Trade of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, February 1994

Polymerization section of the facility, Shinhŭng Chemical Complex.
Source: Foreign Trade of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, February 1994

Sources:
[1] FBIS Report, "DPRK's Sinhung Chemical Complex Profiled," 18 January 2001, in FBIS Document KPP20010118000112;
[2] Chang Chun Ik, Pukhan Haek-Missile Chŏnjaeng, (Seoul: Sŏmundang, 1999), p. 460; Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., The Armed Forces of North Korea (New York: I. B. Tauris Publishers, 2001), p. 225.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents.

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