North Korea Sends Academics to Study Business in Canada

Posted August 18th, 2011 at 5:30 am (UTC-5)
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North Korea has sent six professors to a Canadian university to study free-market economics in the reclusive nation's most extensive educational exchange to date.

South Korean news outlets quote officials at the University of British Columbia confirming the six academics arrived in Vancouver last month to begin a six-month program. The professors will study international business and economics, finance and trade.

North Korea has sent academics to Western nations to study their free-market systems since the 1990s, but has never before allowed them to stay for more than a few weeks.

The reports say five of the professors are from the North's elite Kim il Sung University, while the sixth is from a university in Wonsan.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency says they will spend two months in an English-language course before beginning their economics classes.

The Canadian university is hosting the professors under what it calls the Canada-DPRK Knowledge Partnership Program. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.