Last Updated: May 30, 2012
Other Name: 물리대학; Yongbyon Physics Junior College (영변물리학전문학교); Yongbyon Physics College (영변 물리대학); Yongbyon Nuclear Physics College (영변 핵물리대학)
Location: Bungang-jigu (분강지구), Yongbyon-gun (영변군), Pyonganbuk-do (평안북도), North Korea
Subordinate To: Unknown
Size: Three departments (학부), ten programs (학과) and approximately 1,500 students. [1]
Facility Status: Unknown

According to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, North Korea established a physics college and a physics junior college in the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center in the 1980s in order to train technicians to operate the nuclear reactors, reprocessing facility, fuel fabrication plants and other facilities at the Yongbyon Nuclear Complex. [2] Its three departments are Nuclear Material (핵재료), Nuclear Electronics (핵전자), and Nuclear Reactors (원자로). Students and alumni are strictly controlled and isolated from outside because they deal with confidential information. According to North Korean defector Kim Dae Ho (김대호), the 43 Brigade under the Third Engineer Bureau of the Nuclear Development Unit (핵개발부대 3공병국 43여단) is stationed at the Physics College. [3] As of 2009, the president of the college is Lee Myung-ha (리명하), who also has expertise in high explosives. [4]

Sources:
[1] Jeong Yong-su, “더 세진 북핵…정보당국, 북한 70대 이명하 박사 주목 [North’s Nuclear Capabilities Enhanced…Intelligence Agency Focuses on Lee Myoung-ha],” Joongang Ilbo, 27 May 2009.
[2] ROK National Intelligence Service, "북한의 원자력 전문인력 양산실태 [Nuclear Experts in North Korea]," www.nis.go.kr.
[3] Kim Beom-su, “김정일, 핵개발 총사령관으로 자처했다 [Kim Jong Il Called Himself the Nuclear Development Commander],” Daily NK, 11 February 2005, www.dailynk.com.
[4] Jeong Yong-su, “더 세진 북핵…정보당국, 북한 70대 이명하 박사 주목 [North’s Nuclear Capabilities Enhanced…Intelligence Agency Focuses on Lee Myoung-ha],” Joongang Ilbo, 27 May 2009.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.