North Korean students use virtual reality (VR) goggles during a class at the Pyongyang Teachers College in Pyongyang, North Korea in 2018. File Photo by How Hwee Young/EPA-EFE
June 23 (UPI) -- North Korea is reforming education at universities to place greater emphasis on artificial intelligence, according to state media.
Pyongyang's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Sunday Pyongyang University of Computer Science is changing its computer-programming department into a department for the study of AI.
The goal is to improve the quality of school courses so classes on AI are more readily available in the department, according to the report.
PyongyangUniversity of Computer Science has decided to improve artificial intelligence education because AI is a "key technology in the information industry," the Rodong article said.
The university is developing the new program following directives from Kim Jong Un, issued at the fourth plenum of the seventh party central committee meeting in April, state media said.
The school could be looking into restructuring its graduate programs. The changes would begin with the creation of a new department of information and communication engineering, and include the development of a doctoral-level program, according to the Rodong.
Pyongyang University of Computer Science was founded on Sept. 1, 1960, as Pyongyang High School of Physics. The institution is entrusted by the state to promote the study of information technology.
North Korea has highlighted the role of technology in economic advancement despite international sanctions.
The state is also promoting sports and ways to improve athletes' performance through training events.
North Korea propaganda service Maeari said Sunday the regime's soccer coaches are being trained at professional "FIFA" levels at various sports arenas.
More than 30 coaches were lectured on the lessons learned from the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
North Korea had lost all games at the Asian tournament in early 2019.