College of Science

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Last Updated: September 30, 2011
Other Name: 리과대학; Pyongsong Institute of Science (평성리과대학); Pyongsong College of Science; Pyongsong Scientific University; Pyŏngsŏng Scientific Institute; College of Gifted Students (수재대학)
Location: Unjong-guyok (은정구역), Pyongyang (평양시), North Korea*
Subordinate To: Academy of Sciences (과학원), Cabinet (내각)**
Size: Five departments (학부) including nuclear physics, biology, mathematics, chemistry, and electronic engineering.[1] There are about 1,500-1,600 students.
Facility Status: Operational

Founded in 1967, the College of Science trains North Korea’s top scientists. The college has a seven-year program (including one year for a graduation thesis), [2] and women account for 15% of the student body. [3] Unlike other North Korean educational institutions, the social status or background of prospective students are given little consideration for admission. Graduates from the Nuclear Physics Department are posted to the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center or to nuclear facilities in Packchon-kun. The Academy of Sciences established the Nuclear Physics Research Institute in 1982, and attached the institute to the Pyongsong College of Science. The institute reportedly provides training in nuclear energy theory. The Chemistry Department is reported to have a metallurgy program that has been "involved in nuclear research." As of 2007, the president of the College is Kim Song Du (김승두), who was just 41 years old when he was appointed in 1999, an unprecedented young age for the position in North Korea. [4]

*Note: Unjong-guyok (은정구역) is known as a “science and research complex” with 25 research institutes and approximately 40,000 scientists under the Academy of Sciences (과학원). [5] Originally, Unjong-guyok (은정구역) belongs to Pyongsong-si (평성시), but the city was merged to Pyongyang in November, 1993 by Kim Il-sung’s scientist preferential treatment policy. (Pyongyang has the best reputation in North Korea). [6]

**Note: North Korea's Academy of Sciences (과학원) was founded in December 1952. The Academy's name was officially changed to "National Academy of Sciences (국가과학원)" in 1994, but the name was changed once again to "Academy of Sciences" in 1998.

Sources:
[1] Jeong Chang-hyeon, “1960년대 소련과 인적교류, 핵물리학 기술 습득, 인력양성 [Human Resource Exchange with USSR in the 1960s, Induced Nuclear and Physics Technology, Increasing Experts],” Minjog21, 1 November 2006, www.minjog21.com.
[2] “북한의 일류 과학교육 [DPRK’s First Class Science Education],” Yonhap TV News, 4 March 2008, www.sciencetv.kr.
[3] “NK Report - 북한의 ‘KAIST’ 리과대학 [KAIST of DPRK, Physics],” Chosun Ilbo, 22 October 2000.
[4] Lee Tae-ho, “창립40돐을 맞은 리과대학, 세계에 이름떨치는 과학자 육성 [40 Years of the College of Science, Raises Worldwide-Famous Scientists],” Choson Sinbo (Japan), 24 March 2007, www.korea-np.co.jp.
[5] Jeong Chang-hyeon, “1960년대 소련과 인적교류, 핵물리학 기술 습득, 인력양성 [Human Resource Exchange with USSR in the 1960s, Induced Nuclear and Physics Technology, Increasing Experts],” Minjog21, 1 November 2006, www.minjog21.com.
[6] “<조선신보>와 함께하는 북녘 나들이. 북의 실리콘밸리, 평양시 은정구역 “우린 밤낮없이 콤퓨터와 싸우지요 뭐 [Unjong Guyok, Silicon Valley of DPRK. “We are stuck on computer all day and night”],” Minjog21, 1 March 2002, www.minjog21.com.

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