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Korea International Chemical Joint Venture Company

Other Name: 조선국제화공합영회사; Chosŏn International Chemicals Joint Operation Company; Chosun International Chemicals Joint Operation Company; International Chemical Joint Venture Corporation
Location: Main office is located in Man'gyŏngdae-kuyŏk (만경대구역), Pyongyang, North Korea; factory is located in Hamhŭng (함흥시), South Hamgyŏng Province (함경남도), North Korea
Subordinate To: The firm is a joint venture company of the International Trading Corporation of Japan and the Korea Yong'aksan General Trading Company of North Korea. The Korea Yong'aksan General Trading Company is subordinate to the Second Economic Committee (제2경제위원회)
Size: At one time, the firm employed about 600 workers. In late 2002, the factory had nearly 100 technicians. The company reportedly has the capacity to process about 1,500 tons of monazite and extract about 400 tons of rare earth metals and oxides annually.
Facility Status: Active as of 2002

In 1988, the International Trading Corporation of Japan and Korea Yong'aksan General Trading Company invested $20 million to establish the International Chemical Joint Venture Corporation. The joint venture firm was created to refine rare earth products from monazite and export them to Japan. The plant was designed with technology from China's Shanghai Yue Long Chemical Plant, and construction was completed in Hamhŭng in April 1990. The plant began operations in April 1991. According to Bermudez, monazite is mined at the Ch'ŏlsan Uranium Mine in Ch'ŏlsan-kun (철산군), North P'yŏng'an Province, and then transported to the Korea International Chemical Joint Venture Company in Hamhŭng for processing. The Segye Ilbo reported in 1999 that the Korea International Chemical Joint Venture Company had been the largest joint venture company in North Korea, but that it had ceased operations in 1997. However, the Korean Central News Agency reported in November 2002 that the firm was still operating.

Sources:
[1] Kim Yŏng Shik, 'Puk Choch'ongryŏn'giŏp Taebubun Choŏp Chungdan Sangt'ae,' Segye Ilbo, 11 March 1999, p. 22, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.
[2] Ch'oe Ŭi Sŏk, 'Ilbukhan Kigansan'ŏp Hapchakto Ch'ujin/ Ch'ŏlgangjŏn'gi Tŭng?e Chipchungt'uja,' Segye Ilbo, 11 February 1990, p. 2, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.
[3] Ha Sŭng Pŏm, 'Pukhan'ŭi Kiŏp List,' Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, June 2002, www.kotra.or.kr.
[4] Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr, 'Exposing North Korea's Nuclear Infrastructure-Part One,' Jane's Intelligence Review, 1 February 1999, p. 38.
[5] "International Chemical Corporation," Korean Central News Agency, 18 November 2002, www.kcna.co.jp.
[6] Kukchehwahakhab'yŏnghoesa Hŭit'oryujep'um Saengsan, Kukcheshijangdŭl'edo Ch'ulp'um,' Korean Central News Agency, 18 November 2002, www.kcna.co.jp.

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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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