DPRK demand for overseas training

Radio Free Asia published an article on North Korean demand for overseas training.  Since the article is only available in Korean, however, a very helpful colleague has translated it for me to post here:

It is noted that North Korea is sending government officials and field specialists abroad for training with the purpose of reconstructing the economy following the inauguration of the Kim Jung-un era. Five North Korean technology inspectors recently visited a coal-chemical factory in Shanxi, China. The inspectors observed the process of creating different chemicals using coal and they showed particular interest in the factory’s systematic settings.

Also, early last month, the Energy Preservation Technology Inspection Team, including director-level officials of Science Technology Committee, underwent field training in China on construction materials and architectural technology to enhance energy efficiency.

Agape International of Switzerland (NGO), which facilitated the training, said North Korean government officials observed a Chinese insulation factory, construction company, etc. over the course of 10 days.

Additionally, a team of 30 North Korean railroad specialists participated in a commissioned training program at a Railroad institution in Russia. Recently there has been a great increase in North Korea’s request for training arrangements mediated by International and Nongovernmental Organizations.

According to a source which wished to remain anonymous, the increase is notable since North Korea has had a reputation for declining or canceling overseas training programs even after they have been arranged.

Whether the recent demand and interest for overseas training in economic fields reflects an attempt to improve the fallen economy or not remains to be seen.

Read the full story (in Korean) here:
북, 김정은 등장 후 해외연수에 적극적
Radio Free Asia


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