Kim Chin-kyung

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Kim Chin Kyung (also spelled Kim Jin Kyong and known as James Kim in the United States) born 1935 in Keijo (Seoul), Japanese Korea is a professor of economics and a builder of international institutes of higher learning. He holds a United States passport, but also an honorary permanent Chinese citizenship. He was held as a political prisoner of Kim Jong Il in 1998.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Kim wanted to join the South Korean army when the Korean War broke out in 1950, but was initially rejected since he was too young. After having signed a petition with his own blood he was allowed to join a student battalion, however, where he was one of only 17 survivors out of 800 fighters.[3] This caused him to vow spending his life's forces to work for the best of people's lives among his then enemies, the Chinese and the North Koreans. He went to Seoul for schooling and education, and then studied in Bristol, England, before moving onwards to Florida, working in business while also pursuing an academic degree in economics.


Yanbian University of Science and Technology[edit]

In 1992, Kim founded the Yanbian University of Science and Technology (YUST) in the North-Eastern part of China, inside the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, and served as its first president. It has around 2000 students and is counted among the top hundred universities of China. The YUST is a high-profile and ambitious venture in the spirit of Korean unification. Kim has also been an economic advisor to the government of China's Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture since 1989.

Pyongyang University of Science and Technology[edit]

Kim was also the driving force behind the creation of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), the first joint venture institute of higher learning inside North Korea that is founded, funded and operated jointly by both North and South Korean associations and individuals. The PUST project was started in 2001, and was scheduled to be open in 2003 but only took in its first class in 2010. In 2012 it had 267 students of whom 200 were undergraduates.[4]

PUST is employing faculty from prestigious universities and research institutions from South Korea, the United States, and other countries. Courses are taught in both Korean and English.


Among honours won for Kim are the KBS Award to the Outstanding Overseas Countryman of the Year (1995); Honorary Citizenship to the city of Seoul (1995); Honorary Permanent Citizenship to China (1998); and the Korean Peony Prize for Distinguished Service (2002).


  1. ^ Open for business March 19 2012 Fortune page 26
  2. ^ The Capitalist who loves North Korea September 2009
  3. ^
  4. ^ The capitalist who (still) loves North Korea, CNN Money, March 15, 2012.

External links[edit]