In spite of various difficulties due to travel restrictions on US passport-holders and the increased tensions around the Korean peninsula, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) has commenced the Fall semester 2017 on the planned day, today, Monday 4th September.
The initial arrangements for classes have been adapted to suit the available resources and the university is continuing its unique work as the only foreign-supported university in the DPRKorea.
The US government has forbidden the use of US passports to travel to the DPRK, as of 1 st September, unless an exemption is granted. PUST usually has 60 to 80 foreign faculty at any one time during each semester and about half of them are US citizens.
With cooperation from North Korean staff we have met the minimum requirements to start the semester. PUST leadership anticipates additional faculties to join as the semester progresses. The university is actively seeking additional personnel who are willing to go to Pyongyang for short visits, to increase the number of foreigner-taught specialist courses. The US government has just published information on how to apply for an exemption from the travel ban; and the leadership of PUST is evaluating how to proceed with this, similarly to the efforts of several other organisations that have long-term humanitarian work in the DPRK and are also badly affected by the travel ban.