Kusŏng Machine Tool Factory

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Last Updated: April 1, 2003
Other Name: 구성공작기계공장, 3 April Factory (Kusong), 4.3 Factory, April 3rd Factory, 3 April Factory (4월3일공장)
Location: Kusŏng (구성시), North P'yŏng'an Province (평안북도), North Korea
Subordinate To: Ministry of Metals and Machine-Building Industries (金屬機械工業省)
Size: Floor space of 37,000 square meters and 5,000 workers; floor space of 28,000 square meters for numerical control machine tool factory, which is known as the "Kusŏng 104 Factory" (구성104호 공장)
Facility Status:

The Kusŏng Machine Tool Factory produces a number of machine tools that could be applied to missile production and assembly. This factory was selected as a "model of automation" for other plants in 2001, and has subsequently been "modernized" or upgraded. National Defense Commission Chairman visited the Kusŏng Machine Tool Factory in late January 2000 and on 14 February 2001 to provide "on-the-spot guidance" and stressed the need for factory automation.

The Control Machine Research Institute (操縱機械硏究所), under the National Academy of Sciences, developed Korean programs for numerical-controlled devices that were installed at the plant in 2000. The Kusŏng Machine Tool Factory also has a Design Office. One of its senior design engineers, Ch'oe Un Ch'ae, led the research on the development of the "Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) Lathe Kusŏng-10," which was displayed at a North Korean science and technology exhibition in April 2001. The Computer Engineering College at the Kim Ch'aek University of Technology has been providing support to "computerize" the factory, probably in conjunction with its educational objectives.

The following are some examples of machine tools, and their specifications, produced at the Kusŏng Machine Tool Factory.

Kusong 104-60 CNC Lathe


Maximum working diameter: 250mm
Distance between centers: 684mm
Spindle bore: 77mm
Stroke of tailstock center sleeve: 80mm
Number of tool holders on turret: 12
Spindle speeds: 40-4,000rpm
Rapid feeds,
X axis: 6 m/min.
Z axis: 12 m/min.
Main motor output: 11/15kW
Dimensions (LxWxH): 3,657x1,607x2,124mm
Weight: 5,400kg

Kusong 125-160-3 Lathe


Maximum swing over carriage: 160mm
Maximum turning diameter: 280mm
Maximum working length: 350mm
Working feeds (X/Z): 0-5,000mm/min.
Rapid feeds (X/Z): 10/20m/min.
Spindle speeds (stepless): 50-5,000rpm
Main motor output (AC): 7/10kW
Dimension (LxWxH): 2,200x1,520x1,785mm
Weight: 3,600kg

Kusong 125-160 CNC Lathe


Maximum swing over carriage: 160mm
Maximum turning diameter: 400mm
Working feeds (X/Z): 0-5,000mm/min.
Rapid feeds (X/Z): 10/20m/min.
Spindle speeds (stepless): 50-5,000rpm
Main motor output (AC): 7/10kW
Dimensions (LxWxH): 2,200x1,495x1,830mm
Weight: 3,350kg

There is no concrete evidence that this plant directly supports missile production, but the Kusŏng Machine Tool Factory is representative of North Korea's machine tool technology. Pyongyang has emphasized the development of the machine tool industry since the 1950s, and has recently stressed the importance of computer automation, which can increase precision for missile components. South Korea's Hyundai Research Institute (現代經濟硏究院) estimates that North Korea's machine tool industry is currently at the level of South Korea's in the mid-1980s. However, this does preclude the possibility that Pyongyang might have procured more advanced machine tools from abroad for missile production.

[1] Hyundai Research Institute, "[Kigyesan'ŏp]," (no date), www.nk-infobank.com.
[2] Foreign Trade of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, 1 January 2002, pp. 2-5, in "DPRK Exporting Various CNC Machine Tools," FBIS Document ID KPP20020326000117.
[3] "Kim Jong Il Gives On-the-Spot Guidance," Korean Central News Agency, 30 January 2000, www.kcna.co.jp.
[4] "Kim Jong Il Ch'ongbisŏ P'yŏng'anbukdonae Kong'ŏppumun'ŭl Hyŏnjijido," Korean Central News Agency, 30 January 2000, www.kcna.co.jp.
[5] "4 Wŏl 3 Il Kongjang," Yonhap News Agency, 2000, www2.yonhapnews.co.kr.
[6] Yonhap News Agency, Pukhanyŏn'gam 2002 (Seoul: Yonhap News Agency, 2001), Rodong Sinmun, 16 May 2001, in "DPRK Daily Reports on Result of Science, Technology Exhibition," FBIS Document ID Kpp20010604000062.
[7] Kim Tu Hwan, "Puk, Such'ijeŏjangch'i Kuksanhwa'e Churyŏk," Yonhap News Agency, 6 March 2002, www3.yonhapnews.net.
[8] ROK National Intelligence Service, "Pukhan, Kwahag'wŏn Sanha Kak Yŏn'gusodŭl'ŭi Yŏn'gusaŏp Sŏnggwa Sŏnjŏn," 11 January 2001, www.nis.go.kr.
[9] Lee Chae Sŭng, "Pukhan'ŭi 6 Kae Kwŏn'yŏkpyŏl Kong'ŏppaech'i Hyŏnhwang," Segye Ilbo, 22 July 1992, p. 12, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.
[10] Korea Today, 1 November 2001, pp. 18-20, in "DPRK Exhibition Hall Showcases Heavy Industry--Graphics Attached," FBIS Document ID KPP20011226000094.
[11] Kim Yong Yun, Tong'il Kyongje, 15 January 2002, pp. 52-68, in "ROK Researcher Examines Technological Development in North Korea," FBIS Document ID KPP20020213000068.
[12] Kang T'ae Ho, "58 Nyŏn Hwamulch'a Ch'ŏt Choripsaengsan/Chadongch'asan'ŏp (Pukhan'gyŏngje)," Hankyoreh Shinmun, 16 November 1993, p. 8, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.
[13] Korea Today, 1 October 2000, p. 33, in "DPRK Institute Develops Numerical Control Devices," FBIS Document ID KPP20001107000094.
[14] Rodong Sinmun, 22 August 2000, in "DPRK Control Machine Institute, Other Strive to Develop Modern Industries," FBIS Document ID KPP20000906000008.
[15] "Technical Renovation in DPRK," Korean Central News Agency, 15 January 2002, www.kcna.co.jp.
[16] Rodong Sinmun, 23 April 2001, p. 3, in "DPRK Kusong Machine Tool Plant Strives for Computerization," FBIS Dociment ID KPP20010515000027.
[17] Rodong Sinmun, 27 April 2001, in "16th Central S&T festival Held in P'yongyang," FBIS Document ID KPP200105290000120.
[18] Korean Central Television (Pyongyang), 13 May 2001, in "DPRK Technology University Increases Computer majors, Undertakes industrial Projects—Video Stills Attached," FBIS Document ID KPP20010513000034.
[19] Kim Kil Nam, "Everything in Their Own Way," Pyongyang Times, 7 April 2001, wwwtimes.dprkorea.com.
[20] "Device for Machine Tool Developed," Korean Central News Agency, 5 December 2001, www.kcna.co.jp.
[21] "Saero Kaebaltoen Chiksŏn'gul'ŭm'annae," Korean Central News Agency, 5 December 2001, www.kcna.co.jp.

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