Metal (금속/ Kumsok)

금속/ Kumsok
Translation and backgrounder by Stephen Mercado

A quarterly journal of science and technology related to the processing and use of various metals, published by the Science and Encyclopedia Publishing House.

Cover of Metal (금속/ Kumsok), no. 4 (2022).

Journal Title: The journal title has various renderings. Metal is the name in English. Its name transliterated 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 Kŭmsok. In the English version of the journal’s table of contents, the transliteration, rendered in all caps, is KUMSOK. Below it appears between parentheses an English version: (Metals).

Author Information: Editorials and anecdotes of the Revolution 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 that authors may be affiliated with the SAS Ferrous Metal Institute, Nonferrous Metal Institute and/or related institutes and university departments.

Subject Matter: The articles touch on a variety of issues and techniques in the processing and use of various metals.

References: Generally, each article in the sections “Research Papers” and “Research Data” has two or three endnotes. A visible characteristic of this journal, particularly in recent years, has been the overwhelming weight in this journal of Chinese citations, whether in China’s Chinese or English-language media. Many articles have only Chinese citations at the end. Such periodicals in Chinese include 中国冶金 (China Metallurgy), 铁合金 (Ferro-Alloys), and 焊接技术 (Welding Technology). Chinese sources in English include the Journal of Central South University: Science & Technology of Mining and Metallurgy. Chinese authors who have published outside China are also frequently cited.

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 – under a slogan, the title, issue number and year of issue, and the cumulative issue number – starts with two or three items, each either an editorial or an anecdote of the Revolution (혁명 일화). There follows some number of articles under the sections “Research Papers” (연구론문) and “Research Data” (연구자료). Some issues may include other sections. Issue 3, 2022, for example, includes after the main two sections of the issue and two others: “Legal Commentary” (법무해설) and “Details” (상세). In Issue 1, 2002, as another example, the final article appears in the section “General Discourse” (종합론설). 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, for its part, has included in recent years at the lower right corner the journal’s International Standard Serial Number ISSN over a bar code.

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 March, for a total of four issues per year. According to the TOC and publishing information page, Issue 3 (September) of 2022  was cumulative issue number 237. 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 7 September Juche 111 (2022), and the date of issue was 18 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 the first issue of 2002, the place of printing was the Pyongyang General Printing Plant, but the journal showed no copyright line, ISSN or telephone number.