Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

NKorea's first foreign university delayed by politics: fund-raisers

In the end of term Revue should be a hoot.
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Dec 30, 2008
North Korea's first foreign-funded university is finally expected to open next year after being delayed by international tensions, the foundation behind the landmark project said Tuesday.

The Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture (NAFEC) said it has now set April 2009 as the target date after delays caused by disputes over the North's nuclear programme and by inter-Korean tensions.

The original plan was to open the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) as early as September 2007 but there have been several delays.

"We've reached the conclusion that it is difficult to open it now, in light of the current (political) situation," said Choi Chung-Pyung, secretary general of the South Korean-based foundation.

"We're prepared to open it but the North has hinted that it is not the right time to engage in such a festive event," he told AFP. "The South, while admitting to the advantages of this project, also says the timing is not so favourable."

Inter-Korean ties have been at their lowest ebb since the conservative government of President Lee Myung-Bak, who took office in Seoul in February, rolled back a policy of reconciliation under 10 years of liberal predecessors.

Six-nation talks on ending North Korea's nuclear programme are deadlocked over procedures to verify the North's declaration of its nuclear activities.

The United States, whose support is essential for the university to be equipped with lab facilities and faculty members, is also hesitating to cooperate -- citing the unsettled nuclear issue, Choi added.

"We've set April 2009 as the new target date for opening," Choi said.

He said the foundation hoped the situation would improve when a new US administration takes office next month and the nuclear stand-off eases.

The foundation aims to build an institution that will give the impoverished and isolated communist state the skills to function in the international community.

The initiative came from the North itself. Officials in 2001 approached Kim Chin-Kyung, a US citizen who helped found the Yanbian University of Science and Technology in the northeastern Chinese city of Yanji on behalf of NAFEC.

Kim had been detained for six weeks in North Korea in 1998 and threatened with a death sentence for allegedly spying for the US.

Undeterred by the experience, he accepted the challenge. Pyongyang provided the land while NAFEC ploughed in more than 40 billion won (31.7 million dollars), mostly raised by churches and individual donors in South Korea and abroad.

"This project is not simply to feed and clothe North Koreans but help them stand on their own feet and compete on a par with international players," Choi said.

PUST would be the first institution of higher education operated and funded by associations and peoples outside the communist state, he said.

Faculty members will come from many different countries but all instruction will be given in English. In the first year it aims to accept some 200-300 graduate students.

Choi said the North's science and technology education focuses on basics and fails to produce engineers with practical knowledge needed to produce export goods.

"The North keenly feels the need for changes for economic resuscitation but it dares not, for fear of undermining its (communist) system," Choi said.

"We're not seeking to force-feed the North with changes but we only want to help it with whatever it feels it needs."

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at
Learn about missile defense at
All about missiles at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Rice expects NKorea to agree eventually on nuclear verification
Washington (AFP) Dec 19, 2008
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice predicted that North Korea would eventually agree to a written plan to ensure it is telling the truth about its past weapons-grade nuclear activities.

  • Vaclav Klaus, Czech president turned 'European dissident'
  • US Navy frigate arrives in Georgian port: embassy
  • 50 years of intrigue in US-Cuba ties
  • Russia optimistic on US ties under Obama: deputy minister

  • NKorea's first foreign university delayed by politics: fund-raisers
  • US signs protocol boosting nuclear monitoring
  • BMD Focus: Bulava fails again
  • Book: Soviets stole H-bomb secrets

  • Russian Military Confirms 13 Strategic Missile Launches For 2009
  • Russia selling surface-to-air missiles to Libya, Syria: report
  • Lebanese army finds seven missiles pointed at Israel
  • Russia denies delivering S-300 missiles to Iran

  • Moscow Says Offer To On Joint Radar Use Still Stands
  • What Motivates Iran And Russia On The S-300 Deal Part Two
  • Atlantic Eye: Lockerbie to missile defense
  • The S-300 Mystery Deepens Part One

  • China Eastern says bailout increased to one billion dollars
  • Britain's environment minister concerned by Heathrow plan
  • Climate protesters cause chaos at British airport
  • Thompson Files: Protect U.S. aerospace

  • Skylark 1 LE Selected By Israeli Ministry Of Defense
  • Russia mulls unprecedented Israel drones purchase
  • Raven UAS Certified By Italian Ministry Of Defense
  • Navy Targets Unmanned Aircraft

  • Iraq signs military accords with Britain, Australia
  • Hunting For Iraqi Weapons Part One
  • Feature: Iraq's milestone for new year
  • Expiry of UN mandate major step to Iraqi sovereignty

  • Analysis: U.S. needs for language critical
  • Boeing Begins Final Assembly Of RAAF FA-18F Super Hornets
  • Docs to learn battlefield acupuncture
  • Dutch ministry favours Joint Strike Fighter

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement