Institute of Chemistry, Hamhŭng Branch

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Last Updated: March 1, 2003
Other Name: 함흥화확분원; Hamhŭng Chemistry Institute (함흥화확연구소); Hamhŭng Branch of the Academy of Defense Sciences (국방과학원함흥분원)
Location: Hamhŭng (함흥시), South Hamgyŏng Province (함경남도), North Korea.
Subordinate To: Either the Institute of Chemistry (화학연구소), the Second Natural Science Academy (제2자연과학원), Ministry of People's Armed Forces (인민무력부), or the Academy of Sciences (과학원), Cabinet (내각)
Size: Lot size is approximately 300,000 square meters; several hundred researchers, six factories for prototype production
Facility Status: Unknown

Formally established in 1960, this branch of the Institute of Chemistry was directed by Dr. Lee Sŭng Ki until his death in 1996. Among the institutes at the Hamhŭng branch are the Revolutionary Historical Relics Preservation Institute, the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, the Institute of Organic Chemistry, the Institute of Polymer Chemistry, and the Vinalon Institute. Approximately 150 individuals have earned associate or advanced degrees, and more than 30 have earned doctoral degrees in chemistry or related sciences here. Associated with the Institute of Chemistry, Hamhŭng Branch, is a Hamhŭng branch of the P'yongsŏng University of Science, which includes post-doctoral training, as well as four-month language courses. Below are descriptions of the separate institutes and their activities:

  • Revolutionary Historical Relics Preservation Institute: Researches compounds and techniques for preserving revolutionary relics, such as those items at the various museums and monuments to Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Chong Suk (Kim Jong Il's mother).
  • Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Institute of Organic Chemistry: Both departments have emphasized production of ammonia via coal gasification, as well as the production of pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides.
  • Vinalon Institute and Institute of Polymer Chemistry: Basic and applied research in synthetic fibers, as well as resins, plasticizers, dyes, and adhesives.
  • Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Institute of Chemical Engineering: Process engineering, analysis, and semiconductor-related research.

The Institute of Chemistry's main center is in Yŏngsŏng-kuyŏk (용성구역), Pyongyang, and two more branches are in Kanggye, Chagang Province and in Shin'ŭiju, North P'yŏng'an Province.

[1] Yi Son-ho, Pukhan, November 1998, pp. 38-51, in "North Korea's Technology for the Development of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Its Ability," FBIS Document ID: FTS19981121000245.
[2] Federation of American Scientists, "Special Weapons Facilities, North Korea," 23 November 1999,
[3] 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.
[4] "Puk Haekhwahakpangwiguk: Haeksaenghwahangmugi Ch'ongjihwi," Segye Ilbo, 21 May 1997, p. 17, in KINDS,
[5] "Hwahakyŏn'gu Mecca 'Kukkakwahag'wŏn Hamhŭngbunwŏn'," Segye Ilbo, 20 August 1998, p. 22, in KINDS,
[6] "Kyŏngjenan'ŭi Bburi: Min'gan'gyŏngje Kalg'a'mŏngnŭn Kunsusan'ŏp," Joongang Ilbo, 30 March 1995, p. 8, in KINDS,
[7] "Kwahagwŏn," Chosun Ilbo Shisapaekkwa,
[8] "Che 2 Kyŏngjewiwŏnhwoe: 99 Ho Sojo," Chosun Ilbo Shisapaekkwa,

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