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Title North Korea to Become Strong in Science and Technology by Year 2022 Date 2012.12.21
Attach 121220_NK Brief_(NK Sets Year 2022 as a Year to Become a Strong Science and Technology Country).docx
North Korea is claiming its recent satellite launch on December 12, 2012 was part of a five-year plan for the development of science and technology.
 
According to the Choson Sinbo, a Japan-based pro-North Korean newspaper, the launchings of the Kwangmyongsong-2 and -3 satellites are directly related to the third Five-Year Plan for the development of science and technology. The paper also emphasized that the ultimate goal was to make North Korea a science and technology powerhouse by the year 2022.
 
The news summarized an article written by Professor Lim Jong-Hyuk of the Chongryon-affiliated Chosun University in Japan, explaining that the third Five-Year Plan for the development of science and technology began from 2008, making this year the last year of the plan.
 
According to Lim, this plan was created in order to solve the food shortage and improve the livelihoods of the North Korean people through the development of science and technology, including major research in information technology (IT), biotechnology (BT), and nanotechnology (NT) as well as energy development, nuclear technology, space technology, marine technology, and laser and plasma technology.
 
The professor claimed the recent launch was a part of this Five-Year Plan as the development of the space technology sector included the development of ultra-compact satellite and introduction of GPS (global positioning system) and GIS (geographic information system).
 
He further explained the first Five-Year Plan for science and technology development began in 1998. The initial goal of that plan was to solve the problem of science and technology necessary for the reconstruction of important sectors of the North Korean economy.  At the same time, it sought to make pioneering efforts into new fields of science and technology, including IT, space technology, and marine science.
 
The second plan, which began in 2003, focused on introducing and developing basic sciences, such as mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to modernize major sectors of the economy.
 
However, some are refuting the claims of Professor Lim, saying that the first plan began in 2003 and not in 1998.  Ri Mun Ho, the Director of (DPRK) National Academy of Sciences, stated in a June 2006 interview with Choson Sinbo that Kim Jong Il made a field visit to the Hamheung Branch of the National Academy of Sciences in March 1999, directing for a five-year plan for the science and technology sector.
 
Some speculate that this is a deliberate misreporting of the starting date of the first plan to coincide with the 1998 rocket launch, North Korea’s self-proclaimed first attempt at putting an experimental satellite, the Kwangmyongsong-1, into space.
 
In the same interview, Ri explained that since 2004, North Korea began to install various economic management institutions in the Cabinet and other central government agencies to develop the research in science and technology sectors, since such was considered to be linked directly to the country’s economic development.
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