N. Korea spurring ‘online’ education at its universities

October 30, 2015
North Korean students use computers in a classroom with portraits of the country's later leaders Kim Il-sung, left, and his son Kim Jong-il hanging on the wall at the Kim Chaek University of Technology in Pyongyang, North Korea. Key North Korean websites were back online Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014 after an hours-long shutdown that followed a U.S. vow to respond to a cyberattack on Sony Pictures that Washington blames on Pyongyang. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

North Korean students use computers in a classroom with portraits of the country’s later leaders Kim Il-sung, left, and his son Kim Jong-il hanging on the wall at the Kim Chaek University of Technology in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — North Korea is making efforts to spur online education at its major universities in a bid to better instill the North’s ideology into young people and nurture their expertise, Pyongyang’s media reported Friday.

North Korea has opened online classes at its main universities, including Kim Il Sung University, a prestigious institution named after the country’s founder, according to the reports.

But the concept of online education in North Korea is different from that in South Korea, one of the most wired countries in the world. As North Korea limits access to the Internet, cyber education in the North mainly means the use of intranets at a designated location.

“North Korea has been beefing up ideology education for its people via cyber classes,” said Park Moon-woo, a researcher at the National Information Society Agency in South Korea.

The North’s Rodong Sinmun, the country’s main newspaper, reported Thursday that about 110 students have completed cyber education courses.

Around 10,000 North Koreans are taking online classes provided by Kim Chaek University of Technology, the report said.

The North is also seeking to establish a cyber education system based on a mobile communication network, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

Kim Chaek University of Technology has recently set up a tele-education system with a mobile communication network, which enables people to take classes “at any place and anytime,” the KCNA reported on Oct. 1.


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