Kim Chek Institute of Technology: North Korea’s Science Technology and Engineering Hub
Kim Chek Institute of Technology: North Korea’s Science Technology and Engineering Hub
  • Choi Sung (
  • 승인 2011.07.06 17:53
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Choi Sung, Chairman of Korea IT Peace Volunteer Group and Professor of Computer Science at Namseoul University

Located near the Daedong River in Pyongyang, the Kim Chek Institute of Technology occupies about 400,000 square meters. As the top educational institute for science technology and engineering in North Korea with 13,000 students and 3,000 staff, the Institute cultivates high-level specialists in the technology and engineering fields.

Admission to this university requires good grades in the preliminary exam for university entrance and a recommendation from the school principal, municipal or military committee, or employer as well as a rigorous pedigree inspection. In North Korea, science technology education is considered very important as it 'introduces advanced scientific achievements and helps to use them for communist revolution and community establishment.' Socialist Pedagogy published by Josun Education Publishing House explains: "Science technology education can be divided into two closely linked goals. First is enabling students to gain profound knowledge of advanced science and technology attained by humankind; and the second is nurturing their ability to utilize this for revolution and establishment." This sort of philosophy has led Kim Chek Institute of Technology to becoming the best college of science and technology in North Korea.

The institute was established based on Pyongyang Engineering College, which was built after the engineering and transport engineering departments were separated from Kim Ilseong University in September 1948. After the Korean War, most of the staff and students were sent to the battlefield, while the rest was evacuated to Jonjuri in Pyonganbukdo, before the university reopened after the ceasefire. On January 31, 1951, according to command no. 201, the name of the university became Kim Chek Engineering College commemorating the North Korean Commander in Chief Kim Chek, who died during the war. In 1956, science and technology-related divisions were separated into the textile engineering department; transport engineering department; mechanical engineering department; and metallurgic engineering department, based on eight colleges including Pyongyang Light Industry College; Pyongyang Railroad College; Pyongyang Mechanical Engineering College; Gangseon Engineering College; and Pyongyang Construction and Material College. Celebrating the 40th anniversary in 1988, the college was renamed Kim Chek Institute of Technology and opened a branch in Gangdong to foster laborers for the Josun Computer Center. At the moment, the institute is composed of three colleges, 11 departments, more than 100 courses, and 3,000 staff (among which 700 have an academic degree, one is Science Center Wonsa and three, candidate Wonsa). The Preliminary Division refers to workers and discharged soldiers, and some students enroll in the re-education division. The courses last for 5 and a half years.

<Current status and organization of Kim Chek Institute of Technology>

Foundation: September 1948

Category: University.

Location: Yonggwang Geori, Gyogu dong, Jungguyeok, Pyongyang si

Site: 400,000 m2

Size: 19 departments, 80 courses

Number of students: over 13,000

Number of staff: over 3,000


Computer Science

Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Program Logic Control

Mechanical Science

Power Mechanics, Mechanic Production Engineering

Information Science

Microelectronics, Broadcasting Engineering, Information Processing


Industrial Management


Mining Engineering

Mine Renewal, Coal Mining, Petroleum Engineering, Mineral Extraction


Metal Engineering

Metallurgy Theory, Black Metallurgy, Pure Metal, Melting Furnace Construction, Metallurgy Material and Automation


Automation Engineering

Information Measure Engineering, Logic Experiment, Robot Control


Power Mechanics

Fluid Machinery


Material Engineering

Welding Engineering, Metallic Material, Rolling Mill Equipment, Lathe Equipment, Bearing Equipment, Fusion Facility


Electronic Engineering

Industrial Electronics, Calculator, Electric Treatment Apparatus,

Physical Examination Equipment, Semi-conductor, Electronic Components, Vacuum Electronics, Program and Integrated Circuit


Electrical Engineering

Electromotor Process, Powered Mechanism, Automated Energy Machine, Insulation and Cable, Electrical Applications, Engineering Technology


Naval Architecture Engineering

Naval Architecture Design, Shipbuilding, Shipbuilding Power Equipment and Automation


Communication Studies


Thermal Engineering


Nuclear Physics

Nuclear Fuel, Automatic Reactor, Physical Construction, Applied Mathematics, Nuclear Reactor Engineering



Information communication practice class at the institute.

At the graduate school of Kim Chek Institute of Technology, more than 700 students are studying in master's or doctorate programs, and there are over 1,000 evening school students who are working during the daytime. Also, the re-education division trains staff of Kim Check and other technology institutes for 6 months to one year. Technicians and engineers working in the manufacturing industry must complete this program for a certain period.

In addition, the institute has a technology teacher training course, which nurtures mid-level science technology teaching staff for middle schools. They earn 'technology teaching certificates' after studying the basic courses at the institute or elsewhere and then completing the teacher training course in this division.

The Kim Chek Institute of Technology is the central place for North Korea's science and technology education and research, equipped with 10 research centers where they study electronic calculators, metal, semiconductor, etc., as well as more than 50 laboratories. Here, over 1,000 people such as science researchers, professors, high-level technicians, and experts carry out more than 200 research projects per year. They recently finished more than 1,100 research and technology innovation projects.

1) Electronic Library: opened in January, 2006 (Juche Year 95), this library is a 5-story building with a basement.

* Capacity: 2,000 people (Dimension - floor space: 16,000m2)

* Reading Room: among 28 rooms in total, 12 are electronic and 4 are general reading room.

* Feature: this electronic library is connected to Gwangmyeong Network, an intranet system within North Korea.

* The library provides a number of science technology videos, multimedia data, numerous electronic original texts, and up-to-date technology information in PDF files.

* The other library next to it houses 2 million books.

2) Gymnasium: the gym is one of the university's symbols

* Capacity: 4,000 people (Dimension - floor space: 14,000m2). The facilities include four training rooms and four main rooms for volleyball, basketball, table tennis, and boxing in addition to a fitness training room.

3) Cafeteria: made up of four cafeterias. Students get their food for the meal ticket supplied in the beginning of every month.

Also, Kim Chek Institute of Technology contains laboratories, college printing house, three farms that store agricultural and marine products, dormitory for about 4,000 people, store, hospital, nursery school, and kindergarten.

By Choi Sung, Chairman of Korea IT Peace Volunteer Group and Professor of Computer Science at Namseoul University

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