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Hamheung University of Chemical Industry

  • Location
    Segori-dong (세거리동), Hamhung (함흥시), Hamgyongnam-do (함경남도), North Korea
  • Type
    Chemical-Research and Development
  • Facility Status

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The Hamheung University of Chemical Industry was established in 1947 as North Korea’s first institute of higher educational in the field of science and technology. The college was originally called the Hŭngnam Industrial College (興南工業大學), but it was changed to its current name in 1954. According to defector Lee Ch’ung Kuk, many of the researchers at the No. 398 Research Institute received their training at the Hamheung University of Chemical Industry. Furthermore, many Korean People’s Army personnel are said to receive training in chemical weapons defense here. The university is well known as North Korea’s foremost training ground for chemists and engineers, and it has 46 chemistry-related departments, as well as four affiliated research institutes. Departments in the discipline of chemistry include chemical mechanical engineering, high polymer chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and organic chemistry.


Chemical Weapon (CW)
The CW: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons defines a chemical weapon as any of the following: 1) a toxic chemical or its precursors; 2) a munition specifically designed to deliver a toxic chemical; or 3) any equipment specifically designed for use with toxic chemicals or munitions. Toxic chemical agents are gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical substances that use their toxic properties to cause death or severe harm to humans, animals, and/or plants. Chemical weapons include blister, nerve, choking, and blood agents, as well as non-lethal incapacitating agents and riot-control agents. Historically, chemical weapons have been the most widely used and widely proliferated weapon of mass destruction.


[1] Lee Chae Sŭng, “Pukhan Kwahag’ŭi Isanggwa Hyŏnshil,” Chapter Three in Pukhan’ŭl Umjiginŭn Technocrat (Seoul: Ilbit, August 1998), pp. 123-174, in “Chemical Engineering, Experts Described,” 23 December 1999, FBIS Document ID: FTS19991223001168.
[2] Various sources, in “Profile of DPRK University, Link to WMD,” FBIS Document ID KPP20000907000105.
[3] ROK Ministry of Unification, Pukhan Kaeyo 2000, (Seoul: Ministry of Unification, 1999), p. 488.
[4] Lee Chae Sŭng, “Taehakshisŏl (Pukhanŭi Kyoyuk: 7),” Segye Ilbo, 9 September 1002, p. 14, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.


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