North Korea to promote tech, science development

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), better known as North Korea, convened a session of its Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) last week and copyright and technology issues were on the agenda, according to state news reports.

Hundreds of deputies attending the session approved a 3.2 per cent increase in the national budget to 21.6 billion DPRK won and approved adoption of a handful of new laws, including the “DPRK Copyright Law,” according to a report from the official state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) monitored in Tokyo.

The SPA is the nearest thing secretive North Korea has to a parliament. It convenes at irregular intervals for assemblies that last several years, according to reports. The meeting last week was the fourth session to take place during the tenth SPA, which began in September 1998. Previous SPAs have run for between three and a half years and nine years, according to information previously published by Tokyo-based newspaper The People’s Korea.

KCNA said “a big share of funds” will be used “to put our science and technology on the world level,” without specifying how much money is allocated to the project. Some of the money will be used to modernize industrial establishments, said the report, “with modern technology and build new production centers based on up-to-date science and technology.”

As with recent assemblies, some of the focus of last week’s meeting was on electricity generation, KCNA reported. The country is short of power and the SPA approved expenditure of 3.5 billion DPRK won for the construction of large-scale hydroelectric power stations and several other construction projects.