News of the WeekProfile: Kim Chin-Kyung

The Force Behind North Korea's New Science University

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Science  25 Sep 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5948, pp. 1610-1611
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_1610

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Last week, Kim Chin-Kyung was appointed president of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) at a ceremony in Pyongyang to commemorate completion of the $35 million campus, which after 4 years of delays is expected to open in November to the crème de la crème of North Korea's science graduate students. Much of the credit for the feat belongs to Kim, who is modeling PUST after another improbable venture he heads: Yanbian University of Science and Technology in Yanji, capital of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in northeastern China. Kim has raised nearly all of the money for both universities from Christian groups in South Korea and the United States. The parallels between the two universities are striking—but PUST, as a bridge between the two Koreas, is freighted with symbolism.