Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 6 February (Wednesday) that two academic award ceremonies were held in Pyongyang. The 16 February Science and Technology Prize held a ceremony at the People’s Palace of Culture to ” scientists, technicians, teachers, researchers and officials in the DPRK. . .[that] made tangible contributions to the development of the country’s science and technology, building an economic power and improving the people’s living standard.” Attending the ceremony were DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier (for Education) Kim Yong Jin, State Science and Technology Commission Chairman Choe Sang Gon, Chairman of the Education Commission Kim Sung Du and President of the State Academy of Sciences Jang Chol.
According to KCNA “certificates and medals of the prize were awarded to various units including the Mathematics Faculty of Kim Il Sung University, Kim Chaek University of Technology and the Heat Engineering Institute of the State Academy of Science,” “Certificates of the Scientific and Technological Innovation Prize were awarded to the Organic Chemistry Institute of the Hamhung Branch, the Central Experimental Analysis Institute and the Mathematics Institute of the State Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Koryo Medical Science,” and “certificates of the February 16 Science and Technology Prize and the Scientific and Technological Innovation Prize went to more than 90 scientists, technicians, teachers, researchers and officials including Myong Kum Chol, department head of Kim Il Sung University, Kang Yong Chol, room chief of the Rakwon Building Machine Design Institute at the Rakwon Machine Complex, and Mun Chang Won, teacher at Kim Chaek University of Technology.”
Another ceremony that “awarded the state academic degrees and titles” to those “have made great contributions to building a thriving nation by waging a dynamic drive for pushing back the frontiers of latest science and technology, true to the dear respected Kim Jong Un’s idea of giving importance to science and technology.” The ceremony was held as part of commemorations of Kim Jong Il’s birth anniversary (16 February) was held, separately, the same day at the People’s Palace of Culture. KCNA reported that “Kim Song Gun, researcher of the Turf Institute of the State Academy of Sciences, and Kim Kwon Mu, researcher of the Forest of Economic Value Research Institute of the Ministry of Land and Environmental Conservation, were awarded the title of academician and that of candidate academician went to Kim Song Il, dean of a faculty of Kim Il Sung University” and “Jo Chol, vice-president of Kim Il Sung University, Pak Je Dong, room chief of University of National Economy, Ri Kyong Su, researcher of Kim Chaek University of Technology, and others were awarded academic title of professor.” Also, according to KCNA, “a doctor’s degree went to 38 persons including Yun Nam, head of a department of Kim Il Sung University, Kim Ryong Hwa, head of a department of Kim Chaek University of Technology, Ryom Song Chol, researcher of the Mathematics Research Institute of the State Academy of Sciences, and academic title of associate professor went to 127 others.”
The 16 February Science and Technology Prize ceremony received more prominent coverage in state media. The officials reported to have attended that ceremony are all leading officials of organizations involved the civilian research academic aspects of the DPRK nuclear community. One might also scan the names and find that some DPRK scientists linked to a possible forthcoming nuclear test are already receiving their state awards, regardless of the test’s outcome.