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University brings capitalism to reclusive North Korea

In March 2001, the Ministry of Education of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) authorized the establishment of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) by the Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture (NAFEC), a South Korean non-profit organization. NAFEC earlier established China’s first foreign university, the Yanbian University of Science and Technology (YUST), in Yanji City, a major Korean Chinese population center, in Northeast China. Since its opening in 1992, YUST has grown rapidly to become one of the top 100 universities in China, a remarkable accomplishment considering the many constraints and challenges that YUST had to deal with during its growth period.

Due to YUST’s success, North Korea requested in 2001 that Dr. James Chin-Kyung Kim, the founder of YUST, to create a similar institution in North Korea. The construction of the PUST buildings for Phase 1 is almost completed as of March, 2008 and the university hopes to admit its first class in 2009. The university is the work of a countless number of concerned individuals and donors from South Korea, the United States, the European Union, China, and many other countries, including North Korea, that have come together in a spirit of humanitarian concern. The goal is to build a higher education institution that will help North Korea develop the necessary economic and intellectual infrastructure to function as a member of the international community.




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