The Fifth Party Congress in 1970 called for the education of one million new technicians and specialists to aid economic modernization and development. By the mid-1990s, the government claimed that there were agricultural specialists on most rural cooperatives, although severe economic deprivation has curtailed DPRK agricultural output. Throughout this period, Russian and Chinese technicians helped train DPRK workers, and the DPRK actively sought to acquire advanced foreign technology through the importation of entire petrochemical and other manufacturing plants from Japan, France, Sweden, and other developed nations. In the 1990s, its nuclear energy program—with both peaceful and military applications—gained international attention.
The principal scientific and technical institutions are the Academy of Sciences (founded in 1952), the Academy of Agricultural Science (founded in 1948), the Academy of Fisheries (founded in 1969), the Academy of Forestry (founded in 1948), the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Academy of Light Industry Science (founded in 1954), and the Academy of Railway Sciences. All of these academies are located in P'yongyang, and each has numerous attached research institutes.
By 1994, Kim Il-sung University in P'yongyang (founded in 1946) included faculties of computer science, chemistry, biology, atomic energy, geology, mathematics, and physics. Also in P'yongyang are the Kim Chaek University of Technology, the P'yongyang University of Agriculture, and the P'yongyang University of Medicine.