Mechanical Engineering (기계공학 / Kigye Konghak)

Mechanical Engineering
기계공학 / Kigye Konghak
Translation and backgrounder by Stephen Mercado

A quarterly journal of science and technology related to physical machinery, published by the Science and Encyclopedia Publishing House.

Cover of Mechanical Engineering (기계공학 / Kigye Konghak), no. 4 (2022).

Journal Title: The journal title has various renderings. Mechanical Engineering is the title 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 Kigye konghak. In the English version of the journal’s table of contents, the transliteration, rendered in all caps, is KIGYEGONGHAK. Below it appears between parentheses its English version: (Mechanical Engineering). In North Korean media, the journal title is transliterated as Kigye Gonghak.

Author Information: Editorials and anecdotes of the Revolution (혁명 일화) are unsigned. Articles in “Research Papers” and other sections 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.

It is possible to find author information via papers written abroad. For instance, the second of two endnotes from an article by Ri Ok Chol and Choe Kwang Nam, 분층고차자름변형리론에 의한 적층복합재료보의 자유지동 해석 [Natural Vibration Analysis of Composite Laminate Beam by Layered High-Order Shear Deformation Theory], can be found in the “Research Data” section of issue 1, 2022, which included a citation of an article written by Choe in the journal Composite Structures: “Vibration analysis for coupled composite laminated axi-symmetric doubly-curved revolution shell structures by unified Jacobi-Ritz method,” Vol. 194 (2018), pp. 136-157. According to information from the foreign article, Choe was affiliated at the time with the Department of Light Industry Machinery Engineering at the Pyongyang University of Mechanical Engineering. This suggests that other authors publishing in Kigye Konghak may have affiliations with the same university, related departments in other universities and organizations or the State Academy of Sciences (SAS) Mechanical Engineering Institute.

Subject Matter: The articles touch on a variety of issues and techniques in mechanical engineering, such as automation and lubrication, in applications ranging from aerospace to wind energy. The articles are often brief and general, although the endnotes can point to particular applications and industries. For example, the two endnotes in the article “Hydrodynamic Analysis on Flow of Lubricating Oil in the Liquid Lubrication Bearing,” issue 1, 2022, pp. 8-10, point to articles in aerospace science and technology, including “The Lubrication of Attitude Control Systems” in S. Krishnan et al., Advances in Spacecraft Technologies (2011), whereas the main body of the article has no explicit aerospace references.

References: Generally, each article in the sections “Research Papers” and “Research Data” has two or three endnotes. In addition to citations of domestic scientific literature, authors cite a wide variety of foreign publications, particularly in English and Chinese, such as the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, the International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, and 机械制造与自动化 (Machine Building and Automation).

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; a TOC in English; the publishing information; and the back cover. Regime messages/propaganda appear throughout the journal.

In recent years, the front cover shows 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 sections “Research Papers” (연구론문) and “Research Data” (연구자료). Some issues may include other sections, such as “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 recently included the journal’s International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) over a bar code at the lower right-hand corner.

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. According to the TOC and publishing information page, issue 3 (August) 2022 was cumulative issue number 231. 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 10 August Juche 111 (2022), and the date of issue was 20 August 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 the first issue of 2002, the place of printing was the Pyongyang General Printing Plant (평양종합인쇄공장), the issue was published in January, and the journal showed no copyright line, ISSN or telephone number.