Meteorology and Hydrology (기상과 수문 / Kisang kwa Sumun)

Meteorology and Hydrology
기상과 수문 / Kisang kwa Sumun
Translation and backgrounder by Stephen Mercado

A quarterly journal of science and technology related to weather, climate and water, published by the Agricultural Publishing House.

Cover of Meteorology and Hydrology (기상과 수문 / Kisang kwa Sumun), no. 4 (2022).

Journal Title: The journal title has various renderings. Meteorology and Hydrology 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’s title is transliterated as Kisanggwa Sumun.

Author Information: In recent years, the authors of the editorials and other political articles at the beginning of the journal have been named and identified as “our company’s reporter.” While authors are given for the major articles on hydrometeorology, relatively fewer have appeared with information regarding their affiliation, academic degrees or positions in recent years. In line with the journal’s title and content, most of the identified authors have been affiliated with relevant universities, State Academy of Sciences (SAS) institutes and hydrometeorological organizations, including the Hamhung University of Hydraulic Engineering, the SAS Geography Institute, the Central Meteorological Center and the South Pyongan Provincial Hydrometeorological Observation Station.

Subject Matter: The articles have to do with such issues as rainfall, flood control and water usage.

References: Authors do not cite sources of information. There are no endnotes.

Sections: Each issue comprises a front cover; an unnumbered inside front page with one or two leading slogans and 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; an unnumbered inside back page showing meteorological data or propaganda; and the back cover. Regime messages/propaganda appear throughout the journal.

The front cover features the journal title, under which is the name of the publisher, the issue number and year of issue. The TOC—under a slogan, the journal title, issue number and year of issue, and the cumulative issue number—starts with two or three items, each either an editorial or some other political article. There follows some number of articles under the sections “Meteorology” (기상), “Hydrology” (수문), “Marine” (해양), “Agricultural Meteorology” (농업 기상), and other various sections such as “News” (상식). Then follows the publishing information section, the inside back page and the back cover.

A page of the Korean TOC.

Publisher: The publisher’s name in English is the Agricultural Publishing House. It is the Nongop Chulpansa in simplified M-R and 농업출판사 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.

The publisher publishes an issue each quarter, starting in January,  totaling four issues per year. Issue 3 (July), 2022, according to the table of contents and the publishing information page, was cumulative issue number 420. The publishing information page also indicated that there was an editorial committee (no members named), the publisher was the Agricultural Publishing House, the place of printing was the Pyongyang General Printing Plant, the date of printing was 11 July Juche 111 (2022), and the date of issue was 17 July Juche 111 (2022). In recent years, the back cover has shown a bar code with the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) above it, but displayed no periodical publication number. The publishing information has shown changes over time; for example, in Issue 1, 2004 (the earliest issue available), the journal showed no copyright line, ISSN, mailing address or telephone number.