Unprecedented Graduation Held in North Korea

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News,World,North Korea,Asia

The inaugural graduates from North Korea's first foreign-funded and foreign-staffed university have collected their degrees. The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology opened in 2010 and has survived longer than many expected. (May 23)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Pyongyang, North Korea - May 21, 2014

1. Various of students getting their degrees

2. SOUNDBITE (Korean) James Chin-kyung Kim, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology president: (Transcript Below)

3. Various exteriors of university, people on the grounds

4. Various of graduation ceremony

5. SOUNDBITE (Korean) Rim Chol, Graduate, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology: (Transcript Below)

6. Various of graduation ceremony

7. People applauding

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

-nats-

IT'S A FAMILIAR SCENE FOR THE MONTH OF MAY... COLLEGE STUDENTS PICKING UP THEIR DIPLOMAS.

BUT THIS PARTICULAR GROUP IS MAKING HISTORY... AS THE FIRST GRADUATING CLASS OF NORTH KOREA'S FIRST FOREIGN-FUNDED AND FOREIGN-STAFFED UNIVERSITY.

SOUNDBITE (Korean) James Chin-kyung Kim, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology president:

"Everybody said it would be impossible, but thanks to the care of our fatherland, this international university has produced graduates, many will go to Europe to study, and now it's a highly acclaimed university."

JAMES KIM FOUNDED THE UNIVERSITY IN 2010... IN A RARE ATTEMPT TO BRING MORE INTERNATIONAL EXPOSURE TO NORTH KOREA, WHERE INTERACTION WITH FOREIGNERS IS TIGHTLY CONTROLLED.

MANY OF THE ACADEMIC STAFF ARE VOLUNTEERS.

FORTY-FOUR STUDENTS COLLECTED THEIR MASTER'S DEGREES ON WEDNESDAY... IN AGRICULTURE AND LIFE SCIENCES, ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING, AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCE AND MANAGEMENT.

SOUNDBITE (Korean) Rim Chol, Graduate, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology:

"I hope to be successful in software industry research, following the idea of our respected Marshal Kim Jong Un, to build a strong and prosperous country."

THE UNIVERSITY HAS SURVIVED LONGER THAN EXPECTED AND IS NOW EXPANDING TO INCLUDE A MEDICAL FACILITY ON CAMPUS.

HANNAH BUCHDAHL, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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