Internal Medicine (내과 / Naekwa)

Internal Medicine
내과 / Naekwa
Translation and backgrounder by Stephen Mercado

A quarterly journal of science and technology related to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of internal diseases, published by the Science and Encyclopedia Publishing House.

Cover of Internal Medicine (내과 / Naekwa), no. 4 (2022).

Journal Title: The journal title has various renderings. Internal Medicine 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. In North Korean media, the journal title is transliterated as Naegwa.

Author Information: Editorials and anecdotes of the Revolution (혁명 일화) are unsigned. The research papers show author names but have lacked other information common to science papers in recent years, such as academic or professional affiliation, academic titles, areas of research or author biography. Earlier articles had some of that information. In Issue 1, 2003, for example, the journal included affiliation and academic titles with the names of the authors. From such older issues, we can see that many of the authors had a master’s or doctoral degree, held such titles as associate professor or professor, and were affiliated with such organizations as Pyongyang Medical University Hospital, Kim Man Yu Hospital, Korea Red Cross General Hospital, and Pyongyang Municipal Hospital No. 2. Authors appearing in the journal these days may have similar affiliations and credentials.

Subject Matter: The articles have to do with issues in internal medicine, including such fields as cardiovascular disease, gastroenterology and immunology,

References: Authors publishing in this journal tend to cite Chinese, Japanese, and Western monographs and journal articles. Cited are such standard Western sources as the American Heart Journal, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and the New England Journal of Medicine. Among Chinese periodicals found are 中华血液学杂志 (Chinese Journal of Hematology). A distinguishing feature of this Pyongyang journal is the frequent citation of Japanese journals and of Japanese experts publishing in Western periodicals. Examples of cited Japanese journals include 内科 (Internal Medicine), 糖尿病 (Journal of the Japanese Diabetes Society) and 臨床と硏究 (Japanese Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine).

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 table of contents (TOC) in Korean; the articles; the publishing information; and the back cover. Regime messages/propaganda appear throughout the journal.

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 section “Research Results” (연구성과). Other sections that often appear in the journal are Experience in Treatment (치료경험), “General Remarks” (종설) and “News” (상식). Next, there is the publishing information. The back cover, in recent years, has included the journal’s International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) over a bar code in the lower right corner.

A page of the Korean TOC.

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. 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 의학과학출판사 (Uihak Kwahak 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 Medical Science Publishing House name together with the Paekkwa corporate logo.

The publisher publishes an issue each quarter, starting in January, for a total of four issues per year. According to the table of contents and the publishing information page, Issue 3 (July), 2022 was cumulative issue number 174. 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 Moranbong Printing Plant, the date of printing was 6 July Juche 111 (2022), and the date of issue was 20 July Juche 111 (2022). The copyright line was © Science and Encyclopedia Publishing House 2022, DPR Korea. The publishing information has shown changes over time; for example, in Issue 1, 2003, the place of printing was the Pyongyang General Printing Plant, and did not include a copyright line, ISSN or telephone number.