World of Science (과학의 세교 / Kwahak ui Segye)

World of Science
과학의 세교 / Kwahak ui Segye
Translation and backgrounder by Stephen Mercado

A bimonthly magazine of articles for the general public on science and technology, published by the Central Information Agency for Science and Technology.

Cover of World of Science (과학의 세교 / Kwahak ui Segye), no. 6 (2019).

Journal Title: The journal title has various renderings. World of Science 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 Kwahak ŭi segye. In North Korean media, the title is translated as Kwahkui segye.

Author Information: The articles 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. Given that the periodical presents a science and technology at a popular level and as news, the authors may be reporters rather than scientists or engineers.

Subject Matter: The articles introduce historical perspectives on developments in science and technology and news across various fields. For example, issue 4, 2022 included an introduction to green architecture, an article defining the meaning of Wi-Fi and an answer to the question regarding the possibility of sanitizing and reusing N95 masks.

References: A science journal for the public, World of Science presents developments in science and technology for a popular audience. Thus, the articles lack the equations, scholarly endnotes and other features of the articles found in other North Korean journals, such as those published by the Science and Encyclopedia Publishing House.

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 recent years, the front cover has shown a slogan over the journal title, under which is the name of the publisher, the issue number and year of issue. The TOC in Korean commonly starts with a “Special Feature” (특집), followed by “Trends” (추세), “Results in Science and Technology” (과학기술결과), and several other sections. 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 Central Information Agency for Science and Technology (CIAST), also known as the Central Scientific and Technological Information Agency (CSTIA). It is the Chungang Kwahak Kisul Tongbosa in simplified M-R and 중앙과학기술통보사 in Korean. The publisher’s name appears in Korean on the journal’s cover and in English as the Central Information Agency for Science and Technology on the copyright line in the publishing information page.

The publisher publishes an issue every other month, starting in February, for a total of six issues per year. According to the publishing information page, issue 4 (August), 2022 was cumulative issue number 262. The publishing information page also indicated that there was an editorial committee (no members named), the publisher was the Central Information Agency for Science and Technology, the place of printing was the Moranbong Printing Plant, the date of printing was 13 August Juche 111 (2022), and the date of issue was 26 August Juche 111 (2022). The copyright line was © Central Information Agency for Science and Technology 2022, DPR Korea. The publishing information has shown changes over time; for example, in Issue 1, 2004—the earliest issue available—the place of printing was the Pyongyang General Printing Plant. That issue of the journal showed no mailing address, copyright line, ISSN, or telephone number, and there was no bar code on the back cover.