Electronics (전자공학 / Chonja Konghak)

전자공학/ Chonja Konghak
Translation and backgrounder by Stephen Mercado

A quarterly journal covering science and technology in circuit design and with electricity through conducting or semiconducting materials, gases or vacuum, published by the Science and Encyclopedia Publishing House.

Cover of Electronics (전자공학 / Chonja Konghak), no. 4 (2022).

Journal Title: The journal title has various renderings. Electronics is the name in English. Its name in a simplified version of the standard McCune-Reischauer (M-R) transliteration system and the actual title in Korean are listed above. Its full M-R transliteration, as used in catalogs of the Library of Congress and other major libraries, is Chŏnja konghak.

In the English version of the journal’s table of contents (TOC), the transliteration, rendered in all caps, is JONJAGONGHAK. Below that, between parentheses, is the English version: (Electronics). In North Korean media, the journal title is transliterated as Jonja Gonghak.

Author Information: Editorials and anecdotes of the Revolution (혁명 일화) are unsigned. The research papers show author names but lack other information common to science papers, such as academic or professional affiliation, academic titles, areas of research or author biography. The journal’s title suggests possible author affiliation with the State Academy of Sciences (SAS) Electronics Institute and/or related academic departments.

Subject Matter: The articles have to do with application, control or study of electricity through conducting or semiconducting materials or gases or vacuum, in such branches as integrated circuits, microelectronics and optoelectronics.

References: Authors publishing in this journal tend to cite both Chinese and Western journal articles, including those of many Chinese authors published in English abroad. There are many references to Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) publications, such popular works including the fourth edition of Donald A. Neaman’s Semiconductor Physics and Devices (McGraw-Hill, 2013), and the Chinese journals电子科技 (Electronic Science and Technology) and 半导体技术 (Semiconductor Technology).

Sections: Each issue comprises a front cover; an unnumbered page with a framed quotation of one of the three generations of the Kim family; a TOC in Korean; the articles; a TOC in English; the publishing information; and the back cover.

In recent years, the front cover shows a slogan over the journal title, under which is the name of the publisher, the issue number and year of issue and the corporate logo. The TOC in Korean starts with two or three items, each either an editorial or an anecdote of the Revolution. There follows some number of articles under the sections “Research Papers” (연구론문) and “Research Data” (연구자료). Some issues may include other sections, such as “Introductory Data” (소개자료) and “Legal Commentary” (법무해설). Following the articles is an abbreviated TOC in English; there are no translations for the material following the section “Research Papers,” which is translated as “Original Papers.” Next, there is the publishing information. The back cover has included the journal’s International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) at the lower right corner over a bar code in recent years.

A side-by-side comparison of a page of the Korean and English TOCs.

Publisher: The publisher’s name in English is the Science and Encyclopedia Publishing House. It is the Kwahak Paekkwa Sajon Chulpansa in simplified M-R and 과학백과사전출판사 in Korean. The publisher’s name appears in Korean on the journal’s cover and in English on the copyright line on the publishing information page. In addition, the front cover includes the publisher’s logo: a globe, with a representation of the atom imposed at the top and an abbreviated version of the publisher’s Korean name, 백과 (Paekkwa), at the bottom.

Prior to Issue 3, 2018, the publisher’s name printed on the front cover was 과학기술출판사 (Kwahak Gisul Chulpansa, the Science and Technology Publishing House). Confusingly, the front cover for the 2016 and 2017 issues, as well as the first two issues of 2018, show the Science and Technology Publishing House name together with the Paekkwa corporate logo.

The publisher publishes an issue each quarter, starting in February, totaling four issues per year. Issue 3 (August) of 2022, according to the TOC and the publishing information page, was cumulative issue number 259. The publishing information page also indicated that there was an editorial committee (no members named), the publisher was the Science and Encyclopedia Publishing House, the place of printing was the Pyongyang General Printing Plant, the date of printing was 28 July Juche 111 (2022), and the date of issue was 11 August Juche 111 (2022). The copyright line was © Science and Encyclopedia Publishing House 2022, DPR Korea. The publishing information has shown changes over time; in 2002, for example, there were six issues of the journal. In Issue 1, 2002, the place of printing was the Pyongyang General Printing Plant, and the journal showed no copyright line, ISSN or telephone number.