Archive for the ‘Korea Computer Center (KCC)’ Category

Growth of ‘knowledge economy’ in the Kim Jong Un era

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)

According to a report published by the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI), since the beginning of his rule, Kim Jong Un has clarified the ‘knowledge economy’ as important as he actively restructures the science and technology system, promotes the high-tech industry, expands education, and boosts the morale of scientists and technicians.

The report, entitled ‘Changes and Implications of the Science and Technology Policy in the Kim Jong Un Era,’ noted that in contrast with the extensive purging of key officials like Jang Song Thaek and Hyon Yong Chol, North Korea’s scientific world has received considerable preferential treatment and is heading the development of the North Korean-style ‘knowledge economy.’

Since coming to power, Kim has pursued a number of projects favoring scientists, including Unha Scientists Street, Wisong Scientists Residential District, and Mirae (‘Future’) Scientists Street. He has also provided private housing to teaching faculty at Kim Il Sung University and Kim Chaek University of Technology.

As a result, more and more researchers are receiving significantly more than just their salaries. At the same time, North Korea is restructuring the R&D system, establishing research centers, extending on-site support for production, and creating for-profit companies.

The report also explained that the regime is continuing efforts pursued during the Kim Jong Il regime, such as the five-year technological development plan, the expansion of computer numerical control (CNC), and the use of the Internet. As it does so, it is pushing forward new endeavors like the establishment of the ‘Science and Technology Hall,’ cyber education, cyber healthcare, and the expansion of electronic payments. Thus, it is improving the level of informatization in North Korea.

“Like the science and technology-centered politics of Kim Jong Il, the Kim Jong Un regime has stressed science and technology in its pursuit of a knowledge economy because it recognizes the importance of this field in building a strong nation and solving the energy and food problems facing the country,” the report claimed.

In particular, around the 60th anniversary of North Korea’s National Academy of Science in December 2012, the regime embarked on an extensive reorganization of the academy. Major targets of the reorganization included the biotechnology and energy fields (critical fields to solving the food issue); high-tech fields like information technology (IT), nanotechnology, and automation; as well as the environmental sector and high-return sector.

In addition, in the beginning of 2015 North Korea dissolved its top software development agency, Korea Computer Center (KCC), leaving only the organization that develops the ‘Red Star’ computer operating system and reorganizing the whole agency as a profitmaking organization. Moreover, in the 4th Five-Year Plan (2013-2017) for scientific and technological development, solving the food and energy issues was emphasized more than in the past.

The report also mentioned the development of tablet PCs and the spread of electronic commercial transactions. In the summer of 2012, North Korea launched three tablet PC models called Samjiyon, Arirang, and Achim. Since then, more models like Woollim, Ryongheung, and Noul have been rolled out. Regarding electronic payments, the use of debit cards like the Narae card, which requires a 4-digit pin number and can be recharged at various shops and hotels, is spreading rapidly.

In regards to these changes, the report stated, “Kim Jong Un’s science and technology policies reflect North Korea’s industrial setting and private demand and are more rational as they correspond with international trends.” However, the report argued that support for key industries is shrinking, and their ability to survive on their own is insufficient. Given the difficulty of establishing a virtuous cycle of investment and profit calculation under the current policies, it concluded that the sustainability of these policies is low.


North Korea promoting extensively for the international product exhibition

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)

North Korea currently under robust international sanctions has put on extensive advertising campaign for the recent International Product Exhibition [Spring International Trade Fair] held in Pyongyang.

A week has passed since the 16th Pyongyang International Spring Product Exhibition (May 13-16), but the Choson Sinbo, the bulletin of the Japan-based Chosen Soren, continues to run daily articles on the products displayed in the exhibition.

The products displayed at the Pyongyang International Spring Product Exhibition, which is North Korea’s largest trade exhibition, provided a peak at the country’s current industrial trends. Moreover, this year’s exhibition introduced a number of products which are used in the daily lives of North Koreans.

The (North) Korean United Trading Company exhibited over fifty categories of products including colored metal products and a variety of lubricants and ball bearings. Groups including the Sungri Economic Trade Alliance, the State of the Art Technology Development and Exchange Center, the (North) Korean Hard Glass Company, the Pyongjin Bicycle Joint Venture Company, etc. entered products which contribute to improving the lives of North Koreans. The Chosun Sinbo introduced various new products displayed at the exhibition, including shoes was introduced which treats athlete’s foot and dissipates odors with substances such as nano silver as well as complex lactic acid products and other pharmaceutical products made at the Pyongchon Koryo Pharmaceutical Factory.

North Korea also focused on advertisement for automobiles and electronics. Pyonghwa Motors introduced over 30 new models at the exhibition, with the increase in demand. It also boasted that the new models were equipped with lower fuel consumption, reduced by two-thirds.

North Korean media also praised computer products introduced by the (North) Korean Computer Center for its rise in popularity and international competitiveness. The Ryongak Computation Information and Technology Exchange Center introduced a new tablet PC which it dubbed the ‘Yongheung.’ It was reported that buyers welcomed the site for portable profile projectors which had TVs for viewing and allowed for comfortable exhibition of mass media materials.

To overcome the current international sanctions imposed on North Korea, the exhibition is likely to be intended to increase its economic cooperation with the outside world. On May 22, the Chosun Sinbo reported that despite the United States-led economic sanctions on North Korea, many foreign enterprises participated in the exhibition in the hopes of expanding trade with North Korea. It highlighted that the Rason Comet Trade Corporation which is located in China and North Korea’s joint Rason Special Economic District, participated this year for the first time in the Pyongyang International Spring Merchandise Exhibition. The article explained that the Rason Comet Trade Corporation is exporting clothing including t-shirts and athletic wear to Indonesia, Thailand, China, etc. Pyonghwa Motors which exhibited 36 varieties of cars, passenger vans, and buses at the outdoor exhibition center, benefited from meetings with several foreign companies as well as North Korean trade and economic agencies.

The 16th annual Pyongyang Spring Product Exhibition was held from the 13th to 16th of this month and companies from North Korea, Germany, Malaysia, Mongolia, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, Italia, Indonesia, China, Poland, and Taiwan participated at the event with various products including machineries, electronics, light industry, foods, medical, and chemicals.


Two Japanese indicted over PC exports

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Pictured above: Korea Computer Center, Pyongyang (Google Earth)

According to Mainichi Daily News:

Prosecutors indicted two executives of small trading houses in Nagoya and Tokyo on Wednesday on charges of exporting used personal computers to North Korea in violation of Japanese government trade sanctions.

Lee Mun Ryang, 61, in Nagoya, and Kaoru Morino, 44, in Tokyo, allegedly exported used PCs and other items worth a total of 8.2 million yen to North Korea in June and December 2010, according to the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office.

The exported goods are believed to have been delivered to the Korea Computer Center, North Korea’s governmental information technology research center set up by late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Both Lee and Morino were quoted by prosecutors as saying they knew that the goods would be delivered to the KCC.

Japan has imposed a total ban on exports to North Korea since June 2009 in protest at its nuclear program.

Lee and Morino began exporting daily necessities to North Korea in 2006, according to investigative sources.

Additional Information:

1. Martyn Williams also wrote about this.

2. In 2010 The Japanese also arrested an individual for exporting pianos to the DPRK.

3. The North Koreans just released several Japanese they were holding.

Read the full story here:
2 executives indicted over PC exports to N. Korea
Mainichi Daily News


Some recent DPRK publications (UPDATED)

Monday, October 31st, 2011

“North Korea on the Cusp of Digital Transformation”
Nautilus Institute
Alexandre Mansurov

“North Korea: An Up-and-Coming IT-Outsourcing Destination”
38 North
Paul Tija, GPI Consulting

“NK People Speak, 2011” (Interviews with North Koreans in China)
Daily NK (PDF)

“The Rise and Fall of Détente on the Korean Peninsula, 1970-1974”
Wilson Center NKIDP
Christian F. Ostermann and James Person
(Coverage of the report in the Donga Ilbo can be found here)

Don’t Expect a Pyongyang Spring Sometime Soon
Center for Strategic and International Studies (via CanKor)
Hazel Smith


KCC finding creative ways to earn hard currency

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Pictured above (Google Earth): Korea Computer Center

According to the Associated Press (Via Washington Post):

South Korean police said Thursday they have arrested five people who allegedly collaborated with elite North Korean hackers to steal millions of dollars in points from online gaming sites.

The five, including a Chinese man, were arrested and another nine people were booked without physical detainment after they worked with North Koreans to hack South Korean gaming sites, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said in a statement.

Members of the hacking ring, which included North Korea’s technological elite, worked in China and shared profits after they sold programs that allowed users to rack up points without actual play, police said.

The points were later exchanged for cash through sites where players trade items to be used for their avatars. The police said the ring made about $6 million over the last year and a half.

A police investigator, who declined to be identified because the investigation was under way, said North Korean hackers were asked to join the alleged scheme because they were deemed competent and could help skirt national legal boundaries.

The police pointed to North’s Korea Computer Center as the alleged culprit. Set up in 1990, the center has 1,200 experts developing computer software and hardware for North Korea, the police said.

The National Intelligence Service, South Korea’s spy agency, was heavily involved in the investigation, the police said. Investigators suspect the hackers’ so-called “auto programs” could be used as a conduit for North Korean cyberattacks.

South Korean authorities have accused North Korea of mounting cyberattacks in the past few years. Prosecutors said earlier this year that the North hacked into a major South Korean bank’s system and paralyzed it for days. The North is also accused of mounting attacks on U.S. and South Korean websites. Pyongyang has denied the charges.

The New York Times adds the following details:

In a little less than two years, the police said, the organizers made $6 million. They gave 55 percent of it to the hackers, who forwarded some of it to agents in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. “They regularly contacted North Korean agents for close consultations,” Chung Kil-hwan, a senior officer at the police agency’s International Crime Investigation Unit, said during a news briefing.

Mr. Chung said the hackers, all graduates of North Korea’s elite science universities, were dispatched from two places: the state-run Korea Computer Center in Pyongyang and the Korea Neungnado General Trading Company. The company, he said, reports to a shadowy Communist Party agency called Office 39, which gathers foreign hard currency for Mr. Kim through drug trafficking, counterfeiting, arms sales and other illicit activities.

Read the full story here:
South Korean police say they’ve cracked down on ring working with North Korean hackers
Associated Press (Via Washington Post)


KCNA web page gets a makeover

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

There are two KCNA web pages.  The older one is run by the Chongryun in Japan (here). The newer one is managed by the Korea Computer Center (KCC). This newer web page was recently updated. It went off line a few days ago and emerged today with a different format. You can see a screen shot above.

The URL is slightly different.  The previous version of the KCC’s KCNA web page was  The new one is simply The default language is Korean, but if you can read a little Korean, you can find the language settings and change the language to:




Another great change has been the addition of a reasonably functional search bar.  The older Chongryun KCNA web page has no search function (Hooray for the Stalin Search Engine).  The previous version of the KCC’s KCNA web page contained a search bar that was too small to type “Kim Jong il”.  Now you can do a search for “The Great Leader Comrade Kim Jong il”–which produces one result.

No doubt Martyn Williams will have more to say about this page when the sun gets to his side of the planet.  Today he reports on the launch of the DPRK’s new Voice of Korea web page.

Below are some recent posts on the DPRK’s moves to the internet:

KCNA re-launched on DPRK-owned IP address

Hackers find creative way to celebrate KJU birthday

DPRK organization opens Twitter account

Uriminzokkiri on Youtube

Naenara, TaeMun, and KCNA get new URLs

Martyn William’s list of DPRK web pages


The DPRK’s artificial intelligence “Go” software

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

According to the Korea IT Times:

Eunbyul 2010 is a “Go” game, or commonly known as baduk in Korean; a software program developed by North Korea and played in North and South Korea. Winner of the third Computer Go Competition UED Cup in 2009, defeating so many outstanding programs from all over the world, Eunbyul 2010 is maintaining 3-dan at and also ranks number one in sales in Japanese computer Go program market.

Go was invented by Chinese emperor Yao around 2300 BC, and has been widely played in the three countries in Far East: Korea, Japan, and China. In North Korea, the game was previously considered ‘the bourgeoisie game,’ thus a taboo; however since the 1990’s, the government has promoted Go as a traditional game that dates back to the Three States era; in addition it highlights the game as a brain exerciser that helps children develop their intelligence and old people keep their brains from aging. North Korea classifies Go – also called brain combat or brain fight in the country- as a type of martial arts just like Taekwondo or Ssireum, the Korean wrestling. North Korea’s Go was controlled by Chosun Sports Association, but under the command from Kim Jeong-il in 1990s; it was transferred to Chosun Martial Arts Federation that had better training environment, and subsequently categorized as public sport; now Taekwondo Commission is in charge of the game. Cho Daewon, 22 and MunYoungsam, 33, both amateur 7-dan, are noted as the top players in the country.

The estimated number of Go players in North Korea was around 10,000 in 1994, and is currently over 30,000. North Korean government encourages children to play Go as they believe the game has a significant effect on improving many brain activities such as concentration, observation, memory, imagination, and structure perception. Go classes are organized at kindergarten and the government tries to promote the game by holding various Go competitions for children.

Along with their passion for the game, North Korea is also regarded as one of the world’s best developer of computer Go game. Since early 1990s, the university computer development group composed of Kim Ilseong University, Kim Chek Engineering College, etc. – has developed computer Go programs. In 1995, Eunbyul Computer Technology Trade Center which is now called Korea Computer Center (KCC) focused on making software programs for Go, chess, Janggi and the like. The Go software ‘Eunbyul 2010 (see the picture above)’ – was imported into South Korea and is now available to the public consumers (here).

Eunbyul 2010 is the latest version of Eunbyul 2006, which was released in 2006 drawing attention to the industry. It integrated Monte Carlo Method into the algorithm of the original 2006 version, substantially improving the level of performance. While Eunbyul 2006 was rated level 6 according to Korea Baduk Association’s system, its 2010 counterpart attained 2-dan after the battles with random user at Cyber Oro, the internet Go match website. The user won 54 and lost 46games – 31 victories and 25 defeats in 1-dan battles and 23 victories and 21 defeats in 2-dan battles -hence, with 54 percent of winning rate. The software also won the International Computer Go Tournament held last year in Japan, sweeping all the matches and, thus, proving to be the best of its kind in the world.

There are two types of engines in Go programs. Tree search system, in theory, takes more than 361 (factorial) searches for one match because it has to create a move by move searching tool to explore every path. There is Monte Carlo method engine, which randomly selects one of the undefeated moves after proceeding hundreds of thousands of simulated battles to the end. Despite the relatively higher performance (on amateur beginner’s levels), this method was difficult to be adopted for commercial use because it required computation by either supercomputer or tens of CPUs from parallel wired computers.

4OneBiz, the sales rights holder in South Korea, signed the contract with North Korea in June 2006 before beginning the sales in the South. In September the same year, the company held an 8-day workshop in which an engineer who spent over a decade on developing Go programs at KCC and a professional5-dan Go player participated in the activities. The main objective of the workshop was to decide whether they should improve the performance of the existing Eunbyul program or develop a completely new engine from the design. Ultimately, they chose the latter.

North and South Korea agreed to develop a whole new level of Go program engine that contains tactical data, which narrows down the potential moves to only a few, so as to make the next move in a simpler way. They also aim to make a program with optimal performance that is light and fast enough to be installed in a mobile device. South Korea provides an expert-levelalgorithm design whereas North Korean developers will take charge of creating a program based on the theory and basic algorithm. This new expert-level Go engine is already completed, and its automatic evaluator and situation-determination module are currently being supplied to a popular Korean Go website. Further use is currently under negotiation. One engineer who specialized in expert-level Go engine and gave up after spending more than 10 years on developing the engine once contended that “it is beyond human capability to develop an amateur-expert level of Go engine.”

However, the recent success can be largely contributed to the thoughtful collaboration between South and North Korea: i.e., the North Korean engineers spent more than a decade focused and devoted to Go engine development, and South Korea’s also has well-known competence in Go game. The incredible synergy was all thanks to the socialist system of North Korea where the engineers could stick to the Go engine development project for nearly 20 years regardless of its profitability; and also the capitalist South fostered the best Go players with its wealth and the professional Go player system. For those reasons, North Korea could have developed Eunbyul 2010, the best artificial intelligence Go program in the world.

Read the full story here:
North Korea’s Artificial Intelligence Go Software
Korea IT Times
Choi Sung, Professor of computer science at Namseoul University


The DPRK’s internet, business, and radio wars

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Martyn Williams releases three DPRK stories this week all covering interesting issues…

North Korea Moves Quietly onto the Internet

North Korea, one of the world’s few remaining information black holes, has taken the first step toward a fully fledged connection to the Internet. But a connection, if it comes, is unlikely to mean freedom of information for North Korea’s citizens.

In the past few months, a block of 1,024 Internet addresses, reserved for many years for North Korea but never touched, has been registered to a company with links to the government in Pyongyang.

The numeric IP addresses lie at the heart of communication on the Internet. Every computer connected to the network needs its own address so that data can be sent and received by the correct servers and computers. Without them, communication would fall apart.

It is unclear how the country’s secretive leadership plans to make use of the addresses. It seems likely they will be assigned for military or government use, but experts say it is impossible to know for sure.

North Korea’s move toward the Internet comes as it finds itself increasingly isolated on the world stage. The recent sinking of a South Korean warship has been blamed on the insular country. As a result, there are calls for tougher sanctions that would isolate North Korea further.

“There is no place for the Internet in contemporary DPRK,” said Leonid A. Petrov, a lecturer in Korean studies at The University of Sydney, referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “If the people of North Korea were to have open access to the World Wide Web, they would start learning the truth that has been concealed from them for the last six decades.”

“Unless Kim Jong-Il or his successors feel suicidal, the Internet, like any other free media, will never be allowed in North Korea,” he said.

The North Korean addresses were recently put under the control of Star Joint Venture, a Pyongyang-based company that is partly controlled by Thailand’s Loxley Pacific. The Thai company has experience working with North Korea on high-tech projects, having built North Korea’s first cellular telephone network, Sunnet, in 2002.

Loxley acknowledged that it is working on a project with Pyongyang, but Sahayod Chiradejsakulwong, a manager at the company, wouldn’t elaborate on plans for the addresses.

“This is a part of our business that we do no want to provide information about at the moment,” he said.

A connection to the Internet would represent a significant upgrade of the North’s place in cyberspace, but it’s starting from a very low base.

At present the country relies on servers in other countries to disseminate information. The Web site of the Korea Central News Agency, the North’s official mouthpiece, runs on a server in Japan, while Uriminzokkiri, the closest thing the country has to an official Web site, runs from a server in China.

North Korean citizens have access to a nationwide intranet system called Kwangmyong, which was established around 2000 by the Pyongyang-based Korea Computer Center. It connects universities, libraries, cybercafes and other institutions with Web sites and e-mail, but offers no links to the outside world.

Connections to the actual Internet are severely limited to the most elite members of society. Estimates suggest no more than a few thousand North Koreans have access to the Internet, via a cross-border hook-up to China Netcom. A second connection exists, via satellite to Germany, and is used by diplomats and companies.

For normal citizens of North Korea, the idea of an Internet hook-up is unimaginable, Petrov said.

Kim Jong-Il, the de-facto leader of the country, appears all too aware of the destructive power that freedom of information would have to his regime.

While boasting of his own prowess online at an inter-Korean summit meeting in 2007, he reportedly rejected an Internet connection to the Kaesong Industrial Park, the jointly run complex that sits just north of the border, and said that “many problems would arise if the Internet at the Kaesong Park is connected to other parts of North Korea.”

Kim himself has made no secret of the Internet access that he enjoys, and famously asked then-U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for her e-mail address during a meeting in 2000.

The government’s total control over information extends even as far as requiring radios be fixed on domestic stations so foreign voices cannot be heard.

The policy shows no signs of changing, so any expansion of the Internet into North Korea would likely be used by the government, military or major corporations.

The World’s Most Unusual Outsourcing Destination

Think of North Korea, and repression, starvation and military provocation are probably the first things that come to mind. But beyond the geopolitical posturing, North Korea has also been quietly building up its IT industry.

Universities have been graduating computer engineers and scientists for several years, and companies have recently sprung up to pair the local talent with foreign needs, making the country perhaps the world’s most unusual place for IT outsourcing.

With a few exceptions, such as in India, outsourcing companies in developing nations tend to be small, with fewer than 100 employees, said Paul Tija, a Rotterdam-based consultant on offshoring and outsourcing. But North Korea already has several outsourcers with more then 1,000 employees.

“The government is putting an emphasis on building the IT industry,” he said. “The availability of staff is quite large.”

At present, the country’s outsourcers appear to be targeting several niche areas, including computer animation, data input and software design for mobile phones. U.S. government restrictions prevent American companies from working with North Korean companies, but most other nations don’t have such restrictions.

The path to IT modernization began in the 1990s but was cemented in the early 2000s when Kim Jong Il, the de-facto leader of the country, declared people who couldn’t use computers to be one of the three fools of the 21st century. (The others, he said, are smokers and those ignorant of music.)

But outsourcing in North Korea isn’t always easy.

Language can be a problem, and a lack of experience dealing with foreign companies can sometimes slow business dealings, said Tija. But the country has one big advantage.

“It is one of the most competitive places in the world. There are not many other countries where you can find the same level of knowledge for the price,” said Tija.

The outsourcer with the highest profile is probably Nosotek. The company, established in 2007, is also one of the few Western IT ventures in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

“I understood that the North Korean IT industry had good potential because of their skilled software engineers, but due to the lack of communication it was almost impossible to work with them productively from outside,” said Volker Eloesser, president of Nosotek. “So I took the next logical step and started a company here.”

Nosotek uses foreign expats as project managers to provide an interface between customers and local workers. In doing so it can deliver the level of communication and service its customers expect, Eloesser said.

On its Web site the company boasts access to the best programmers in Pyongyang.

“You find experts in all major programming languages, 3D software development, 3D modelling and design, various kind of server technologies, Linux, Windows and Mac,” he said.

Nosotek’s main work revolves around development of Flash games and games for mobile phones. It’s had some success and claims that one iPhone title made the Apple Store Germany’s top 10 for at least a week, though it wouldn’t say which one.

Several Nosotek-developed games are distributed by Germany’s Exonet Games, including one block-based game called “Bobby’s Blocks.”

“They did a great job with their latest games and the communication was always smooth,” said Marc Busse, manager of digital distribution at the Leipzig-based company. “There’s no doubt I would recommend Nosotek if someone wants to outsource their game development to them.”

Eloesser admits there are some challenges to doing business from North Korea.

“The normal engineer has no direct access to the Internet due to government restrictions. This is one of the main obstacles when doing IT business here,” he said. Development work that requires an Internet connection is transferred across the border to China.

But perhaps the biggest problem faced by North Korea’s nascent outsourcing industry is politics.

Sanctions imposed on the country by the United States make it all but impossible for American companies to trade with North Korea.

“I know several American companies that would love to start doing IT outsourcing in North Korea, but because of political reasons and trade embargoes they can’t,” Tija said.

Things aren’t so strict for companies based elsewhere, including those in the European Union, but the possible stigma of being linked to North Korea and its ruling regime is enough to make some companies think twice.

The North Korean government routinely practices arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and ill treatment of detainees, and allows no political opposition, free media or religious freedom, according to the most recent annual report from Human Rights Watch. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are kept in political prison camps, and the country carries out public executions, the organization said.

With this reputation some companies might shy away from doing business with the country, but Exonet Games didn’t have any such qualms, said Busse.

“It’s not like we worked with the government,” he said. “We just worked with great people who have nothing to do with the dictatorship.”

Radio Wars Between North and South Korea (YouTube Video)


DPRK IT update

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

According to the Korea IT Times:

The number of science and technology institutions in North Korea is estimated to hover around 300; about 200 institutions have been officially confirmed. Therefore, the North is unable to focus on building the hardware industry, which requires massive capital input and long-term investment, and is left with no choice, but to be keen on nurturing IT talent geared toward software development. As a result, the North has been producing excellent IT human resources in areas like artificial intelligence, needed for controlling man-made satellites and developing arms systems, and programming languages.

The following IT institutions are in charge of fostering the North’s software industry: DPRK Academy of Sciences, Korea Computer Center (KCC), Pyongyang Information Center (PIC) and Silver Star, which is currently under the KCC.

In particular, the creation of the PIC, modeled on the Osaka Information Center (OIC) at Osaka University of economics and law, was funded by Jochongnyeon, the pro-North Korean residents’ league in Japan, and was technologically supported by the UNDP. The Jochongnyeon-financed KCC has been responsible for program development and distribution; research on electronic data processing; and nurturing IT talent.

Thanks to such efforts, nearly 200,000 IT talents were fostered and about 10,000 IT professionals are currently working in the field. Approximately 100 universities such as Kim Il-sung University, Pyongyang University of Computer Technology and Kim Chaek University of Technology (KUT) – and 120 colleges have produced 10,000 IT human resources every year. At the moment, the number of IT companies in the North is a mere 250, while the South has suffered from a surplus of IT talent. Therefore, inter-Korean IT cooperation is of great importance to the two Koreas.

As aforementioned, the North has set its sights on promoting its software industry, which is less capital-intensive compared to the hardware industry. Above all, the North is getting closer to obtaining world-class technologies in areas such as voice, fingerprint recognition, cryptography, animation, computer-aided design (CAD) and virtual reality. However, the North’s lack of efficient software development processes and organized engineering systems remains a large obstacle to executing projects aimed at developing demand technology that the S. Korean industry wants. What is more, as the North lacks experiences in carrying out large-scale projects, doing documentation work in the process of development, and smoothing out technology transfer, much needs to be done to measure up to S. Korean companies’ expectations.

Thus, the North needs to build a system for practical on-the-job IT training that produces IT talent capable of developing demand technology- which S. Korean companies need. In addition, it is urgent for both Koreas to come up with an IT talent certification system that certifies both Koreas’ IT professionals.

Read the full story here:
North Korea Needs to Set Up Practical IT Training and Certification Systems
Korea IT Times
Choi Sung


Korean Computer Center software

Monday, September 1st, 2008

The enterprising team at NOKO Jeans, who are trying to manufacture and export blue jeans from the DPRK, posted some information from the Korean Computer Center‘s Samilpo Information Center.

The KCC’s PDF flyer (available here: samilpo_sample.pdf), promotes the company’s software and media products.