Mathematics (수학 / Suhak)

수학 / Suhak
Translation and backgrounder by Stephen Mercado

A quarterly journal of articles related to the science of number, quantity and space, published by the Science and Encyclopedia Publishing House.

Cover of Mathematics (수학 / Suhak), no. 4 (2022).

Journal Title: The journal title has various renderings. Mathematics 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 the English version of the journal’s table of contents (TOC), the transliteration, rendered in all caps, is SUHAK. Below it appears between parentheses the English version: (Mathematics).

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) Mathematics Institute and/or related academic departments. A confirming example is found in Issue 1, 2021, in an article in which Kim Tu Jin cites his own work in Issue 2, Volume 27 (2020) of the journal Method and Applications of Analysis, which identifies him as a member of the SAS Mathematics Institute and further points to his affiliation with China’s Guangzhou University.

Subject Matter: The articles have to do with such areas of mathematics as applied mathematics and computation, probability, statistics and topology.

References: Authors publishing in this journal tend to cite international journals published in English, such as Applied Mathematics and Computation, the Journal of Computation and Applied Mathematics, and Topology Applications. While many articles end with citations for the works of Chinese authors, these articles tend to appear in English in Western journals rather than in those published in China in Chinese.

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. Regime messages/propaganda appear throughout the journal.

In recent years, the front cover has shown a lead quotation 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). Some issues may include other sections; for instance, Issue 3, 2022 ends with the section “Legal Commentary” (법물해설). 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 the journal’s International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) over a bar code at the lower right corner 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 the third issue of 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, for a total of four issues per year. According to the TOC and publishing information page, the third issue (August) of 2022 was cumulative issue number 254. 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 9 August Juche 111 (2022), and that the date of issue was 18 August Juche 111 (2022). The publishing information has shown changes over time; for example, 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.