Korean Medicine (조선의학 / Choson Uihak)

Korean Medicine
조선의학 / Choson Uihak
Translation and backgrounder by Stephen Mercado

A quarterly journal covering science and technology related to medical care, published by the Science and Encyclopedia Publishing House.

Cover of Korean Medicine (조선의학 / Choson Uihak), no. 4 (2022).

Journal Title: The journal title has various renderings. Korean 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. Its full M-R transliteration, as used in catalogs of the Library of Congress and other major libraries, is Chosŏn ŭihak. In North Korean media, the journal’s title is transliterated Joson Uihak.

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 relevant State Academy of Sciences (SAS) institutes, academic departments and/or hospitals.

Subject Matter: The articles have to do with the development of various practices and techniques in medical care.

References: Authors publishing in this journal tend to cite domestic, Chinese, and Western monographs and journal articles. In addition to presumably direct access to the world’s scientific literature, authors also make use of domestic reporting on foreign sources through such publications as 외국 과학기술 통보(의학) [Bulletin of Foreign Science and Technology (Medicine)]. Among Chinese journals cited are 中国实用医药 (China Practical Medicine). Western periodicals cited include the Journal of Applied Biomedicine.

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 the first decade of this century, the journal also carried a TOC in English, but it disappeared before 2011. Recent issues of the journal, despite lacking an English TOC, still include English titles and summaries for articles in the section “Research Papers.”

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 Papers” (연구론문) or “Research Results” (연구성과). Other sections that often appear in the journal are “General Remarks and Data” (종설 및 자료), “News” (상식) and “Legal Commentary” (법무해헐). Following the last item is the publishing information. The back cover shows the periodical publication number and, in recent years, the journal’s International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) over a bar code.

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 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 1, 2019, the publisher’s name printed on the front cover was 의학과학출판사 (Uihak Kwahak Chulpansa, the Medical Science Publishing House). Confusingly, the front cover for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 issues shows the Medical Science Publishing House name together with the Paekkwa corporate logo.

The publisher publishes an issue each quarter, starting in January, totaling four issues per year. According to the table of contents and the publishing information page, Issue 3 (September) 2022 was cumulative issue number 376. 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 28 August Juche 111 (2022), and the date of issue was 15 September 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 3, 2002, the publisher was the Medical Science Publishing House, the place of printing was the Pyongyang General Printing Plant, and did not show a copyright line, ISSN or telephone number.