Scientists, at least, seem to have a promising future in Kim Jong Un’s North Korea.
The North has been reshuffling government sponsored science research organizations and building facilities for researchers, according to a report by the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) unveiled on Thursday.
The report stated that North Korea’s emphasis on science and technology is becoming a matter of national emphasis, replacing “strong and prosperous country” with “knowledge economy,” which not only fits with the global trend but is also less likely to fail. The slogan was declared in November 2013.
“Sectors like bio-technology, energy, information technology, nano-technology and the environment are under reformation, related to solving the food issue,” the report reads.
The report said that Kim Jong Un tends to concentrate on practical issues, while his father focused on large-scale infrastructure projects.
Regarding energy, the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) revealed solar panels in July.
“Choson (North Korea) is installing solar panels to provide light parks, streets and decoration,” it said.
The report said researchers are making a lot of money and receiving special benefits. North Korea has completed its Science and Technology Center on Ssuk island in its capital, followed by the refurbishment of the luxurious Mirae (“Future”) Scientists Street, which was revealed last week.
North Korean scientist Ra Hong Chul, who is serving at State Academy of Sciences City Management Science Research Center, shared his impressions of entering into his new home on the street.
“It feels like a dream and moves me to tears, the house looks like a palace and was provided to an ordinary scientist, like me, for free,” he said, in remarks quoted by DPRK Today.
In 2013, a store called the “Mirae Shop” opened just for scientists working with high technology, selling customer goods and groceries cheaper than in other places.
New technology is currently being utilized on university campuses and cyber education programs have been developed. In October the state-run Rodong Sinmun reported that 110 students from 20 organizations had finished the cyber-education course.
“The students are saying that taking lectures from talented professors and taking part in courses that include real-time feedback and remote exams is very effective and strengthens their knowledge. There are no time or space limitations,” the paper said on October 29.
The report said an internet connection is available at IT-relevant organizations and the State Academy of Sciences.
The paper said North Korea is likely to expand its open-door policy, since the transition to a knowledge economy is impossible under international isolation. It suggested strengthening inter-Korean cooperation to facilitate the North’s growth.
Featured Image: DPRK Today
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