Do North Koreans use Latin (and Greek) letters in their equations?

On the one hand, being such an isolationist country, I wouldn't be surprised if they used the Korean alphabet (조선글) in their equations. On the other hand, the similarly isolationist Soviet Union used Latin letters in its equations rather than Cyrillic (Кириллица) throughout its history, even in the space and nuclear programs.

Nearby China uses Latin as well (imagine using characters (漢字) as variables! …Actually that would be so cool. But never mind)

Another possibility is that they use the Korean alphabet in elementary education and switch to Latin for more advanced subjects (such as their own rocket and nuclear programs).

  • $\begingroup$ I might be wrong about the USSR and China using Latin $\endgroup$ – Akiva Weinberger Dec 4 '19 at 1:37
  • $\begingroup$ You are not wrong. But USSR was never as isolationist as North Korea. $\endgroup$ – Moishe Kohan Dec 4 '19 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ @MoisheKohan Even during Stalin? $\endgroup$ – Akiva Weinberger Dec 4 '19 at 3:54
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    $\begingroup$ Even then...... $\endgroup$ – Moishe Kohan Dec 4 '19 at 4:07
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    $\begingroup$ Related Mathematical research in North Korea — reference request. They do in English language papers they post on arxiv since 2012, at least. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Dec 4 '19 at 12:37

North Korea has its own academy of science in which there is a mathematics institute. Its mathematicians are trained (mostly) in Russia (formal Soviet Union) and other Eastern European countries like Hungary, East Germany and Poland. North Korean mathematics is far worse than South Koreans in terms of research but is OK in terms of the application of mathematics as in building its nukes and missiles.

So North Korean mathematicians use Latin and Greek alphabets for mathematical symbols rather than Korean's. So are Chinese mathematicians, who were (mostly) trained in the west (Germany, England and France) before World War II, and in the Eastern European countries like the Soviet Union and Poland in the 1950s and 1960s, and have been trained (mostly) in North America after the 1980s.

In the ancient time, Chinese mathematics was written in Chinese characters, e.g. Chinese numerals like 〇, 一, 二, 三, 四, 五, 六, 七, 八, 九 (for $0,\cdots,9$ respectively), and so on. Note that they are simple compared to other Chinese characters for easy writing. In the modern time, Chinese mathematics adopts Latin and Greek alphabets and abandons the Chinese numerals because Chinese learn modern mathematics (entirely) from the west.


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