Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies

The Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies is a five-year university in PyongyangNorth Korea, specializing in language education.


The university was split off from Kim Il-sung University in 1964. North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency gives its foundation date as 15 November 1949. It does not have as high a reputation as those of Kim Il-sung University’s foreign languages division, which trains members of the political elite; most graduates go on to become working-level diplomats or work in the intelligence service.


The university has separate colleges for students of EnglishRussianChinese, and Japanese; the so-called “Ethnic Languages College” offers instruction in a further 18 languages, including FrenchSpanishArabicThaiUrduKhmer, and, as of July 2007, Polish and Italian.

In total, 22 languages are taught at PUFS: ChineseRussianJapaneseHungarianArabicMalayKhmerThaiLaoPersianHindiUrduEnglishGermanBulgarianCzechPolishFrenchItalianPortugueseRomanian, and Spanish.

Notable students, faculty, and alumni

This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by adding missing items with reliable sources.

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