Pyongyang Semiconductor Factory

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Last Updated: April 1, 2003
Other Name: 평양반도체공장, Pyongyang Semiconductor Plant, Pyongyang Integrated Circuit Factory
Location: Taedonggang-dong (대동강동), Taedonggang-kuyŏk (대동강구역), Pyongyang
Subordinate To: Electrical Engineering Research Institute (전자공학연구소), National Academy of Sciences (조선과학원)
Facility Status:

According to U.S. and South Korean government sources, the Pyongyang Semiconductor Factory produces electronic components for missiles. The Pyongyang Semiconductor Factory was completed in April 1987 as a prototype production plant with assistance from the United Nations Development Program. In 1989, the facility was expanded into a regular production plant. Analysts have speculated that semiconductors and other components produced at this facility have been used in the production of missiles. Although this is almost certainly correct, North Korea is not self-sufficient in semiconductor production, and Pyongyang's technological capabilities in this area are relatively backward. According to defector Kim Myŏng Ch'ŏl, North Korea was procuring integrated circuits from the former Soviet Union, later Russia, and Japan to be used in rockets, tanks, and submarines while he worked at the Man'gyŏngdae Jewel Processing Factory from 1986 to 1993. [Note: The pro-North Korean General Federation of Korean Residents in Japan (Choch'ongnyŏn) has provided assistance for other computer and information technology facilities, and could have provided assistance for this facility as well.]

Sources:
[1] Interview with North Korean defector Kim Myŏng Ch'ŏl by Daniel A. Pinkston, senior research associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, 14 December 2001, Seoul.
[2] Terminal Report on Project: DP/DRK/79/003; Establishment of Digital Bi-Polar Integrated Circuit Plant in DPR of Korea, (New Delhi: ET&T Development Corporation Ltd., no publication date).
[3] Park Su Ha, "Puk 'IT San'ŏp' Hyŏnjuso/(Ha) Computer Hardware," Munhwa Ilbo, 6 January 2001, p. 5, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.
[4] Cho Min Ho, "Puk Computer San'ŏp Pakch'a/Choch'ongnyŏn UNDP Sŏ Chiwŏn," Segye Ilbo, 2 February 1994, p. 8, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.
[5] "Computer (Pukhansangshik:45) Chosun Ilbo, 17 February 1995, p. 27, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.
[6] Lee Yŏng Jong, "Puk Missile 'Hyŏpsang Ddaro' 'Such'ul Ddaro'," Joongang Ilbo, 29 March 1999, p. 5, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.
[7] Joseph S. Burmudez, Jr., The Armed Forces of North Korea, (New York: I.B. Tauris, 2001), p. 285.
[8] Lee Jŏng Hun, "FROG'esŏ Taepodongkkaji Pukhan'ŭi Missile Game," Shindonga, August 1999, www.donga.com.
[9] Sŏng Ki Ch'ŏl, "Computer Kaebal Pakch'a/Oegukkisul-Chabon I'ryejŏk 'Hwan'yŏng' (Pukhan'ŭn Chi'gŭm)," Kukmin Ilbo, Wang Sang Han, "Pukhan Computer/ 'San'ŏp Che 1 Kwaje' Pul'gu; 8 Bit Kŭp'," Chosun Ilbo, 7 September 1991, p. 7, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.
[10] Chŏng Yŏng T'ae, "Puk IT San'ŏp Ŏdikkaji Wanna/SW Sujun'gŭp, HW Nŭn 'Ch'obo'," Donga Ilbo, 14 June 2000, p. 34, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.

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