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Native name
(주) 에스제이테크
FounderYoo Changgeun
ProductsBattery Pack & BMS (Mobility & Auto Parts Division) Hydraulic & Pneumatic seal (Seals Division):
  • WEAR RING, DU BUSH, O-ring, LFT (low friction rotation seal), POLY SHIM
Number of employees
600 (South and North Korea combined)

SJ TECH is a South Korean Corporation founded in 1997 which is known for being the first South Korean enterprise to enter North Korea's Kaesong Industrial Region (KIR) in 2004.[1][2]

The company was not only a pioneer in obtaining the Nº 1 license from South Korea to directly invest money in North Korea, but it was also the first company to finish the building of its factory among all the other 125 companies.[3][4]

SJ TECH appears on bibliographical materials on South-North Korea relations and world news papers as "SJ TECH Co, Ltd"[5] while in Korean language sources it is usually referred as: SJ테크, (주) 에스제이테크, 에스제이테크,etc.

According to multiple interviews content and also its own website, it says that SJ was chosen as an acronym for the English words "Smart" and "Jump", meaning the eastern concept of "leaping forward" in times of crisis, while "TECH" represents technology.[6]

It is known that besides of the workforce based in South Korea, SJ TECH also employed around 430 employees from North Korea [7]at their Hydraulic Seals and E-Mobility factory for over a decade, until the South Korean Government suddenly decided to shut down the joint industrial area in February 2016. According to The Guardian article, the decision to shut down the binational complex "was a measure to prevent the North Korean regime, [usually represented by its leader Kim Jong-un], from being able to use hard currency originated from the venture in order to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs",[8] which have been under UN's surveillance. Since then, SJ TECH has advocated along with South Korean Politicians from the Justice Party for the reopening of Kaesong with a full normalization of South North economic exchange as well as financial compensation for the investors and companies who suffered a billionaire loss. [9] [10][11]


  • 1997. Establishment of SJ Tech Co., Ltd
  • 1998. ISO 9001 / QS 9000 Certification
  • 2004. Investment in North Korea's Kaesong Industrial Complex as No. 1 corporation / Acquired ISO 14001 certification
  • 2005. Certified as a specialized company for parts and materials
  • 2006. Awarded for excellent capital goods development by the Bank of Korea (한국 은행)
  • 2006. Established Automation Division
  • 2007. INNO-BIZ certification for technologically innovative SMEs
  • 2009. Registered as a Venture company
  • 2010. Designated as Excellent Manufacturing Technology Research Center (ATC)
  • 2011. Established Songdo Technopark IT Center Management Headquarters
  • 2015. Selected as an IP Star company / Good Software Certification
  • 2016. Signed a MOU with Korea Quality Foundation (Business Partnership)
  • 2016. Established the Electric Vehicle division of the Sihwa Industrial Complex
  • 2017. Signed a MOU for investment in e-mobility and electric vehicle production in Woocheon General Industrial Complex in Hoengseong, Gangwon-do[12]
  • 2018. Hoengseong Woocheon Industrial Complex E-mobility Factory Groundbreaking Ceremony
  • 2018. Development of Agricultural Vehicles
  • 2019. Personal Mobility development for People with Disabilities (development of a new electric wheelchair equipped with ICT technology)

Experience in North Korea

The CEO of SJ TECH told The New York Times in an interview that he considered Kaesong to be North Korea's first business school. [13]

SJ TECH had to recruit employees with technical backgrounds or training. Despite the fact that nearly half of the new employees showed up with a technical degree, SJ Tech reportedly had to train them for nearly one year before they could begin full-scale production.[4] SJ Tech’s South Korean workers require only a five-month session to receive equivalent training. Second, regarding the technology level, while most anecdotal accounts of Kaesong operations used to include the assertion that the South Korean firms only use low-tech, outdated, or worn-out equipment in Kaesong, during the visit of the officials, the equipment featured in the presentation appeared to be modern, functioning and well-maintained.[14] Third, the report also appointed that only five percent of SJ Tech’s overall sales came from its KIC operations, and the seals produced by the company were sold only in the domestic South Korean market. SJ Tech’s Yoo told them that he was happy with his decision to invest in Kaesong.[15]

Ian Jeffries, on his book <<North Korea, 2009-2012: A Guide to Economic and Political Developments>> analyzed that companies that built factories in Kaesong Industrial Region faced a considerable challenge to turn a profit, partly because "North Korean workers were not as productive as their Chinese rivals". Whilst some company managers told the author that they were considering pulling out Kaesong, SJ TECH although was described as having an "almost evangelistic drive" and "to put patriotism above economics".[4]

Recent Developments

As of 11 March 2020, with the Corona Virus outbreak, that especially harmed South Korea, the CEO of SJ TECH spoke under invitation by the Justice Party in the Korean National Assembly about the necessity of immediately reopening the South-North joint factories to produce masks in quick time to supply to all country and solve the mask offer problem.. According to another Korean source, Yoo Changgeun defended the thesis that with 50,000 North Korean workers back to production, it would be possible to produce over "10 million masks a day", thus not only the Korean mask crisis would be solved, but Korea would have the capacity of "giving the example by promoting peace in the Korean Peninsula at the same time they promote World Health (a metaphor for the mask production)".

SJ TECH in the media



  1. "강원도에서 전기차 공장을 짓는다고?". 매일경제 ( MK News - Everyday Economy) (in 한국어). Retrieved 2020-04-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "S.Korea SJ-Tech Begins Production in N.Korea's Gaesong". KBS (Korean Broadcasting System). Retrieved 2020-04-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Manyin, Mark E. (2012-10-18). The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex. DIANE Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-4379-8844-4.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jeffries, Ian (2013). North Korea, 2009-2012: A Guide to Economic and Political Developments. Routledge. pp. 128, 540. ISBN 978-0-415-65644-3.
  5. Manyin, Mark E.; Nanto, Dick K. (April 18, 2011). "The Kaesong North South Korean Industrial Complex" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 2020-04-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "SJTECH Co., Ltd - Introduction". Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  7. "Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) « North Korean Economy Watch". North Korean Economy Watch. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  8. Tokyo, Justin McCurry; agencies (2016-02-10). "Seoul shuts down joint North-South Korea industrial complex". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  9. ""마스크 생산 위한 개성공단 정상화 촉구( Korean: Claiming for the Normalization of Kaesong Complex's Mask Production)"". 병원신문 (in 한국어). 2020-03-11. Retrieved 2020-04-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "N. Korea announces it will lift freeze on Kaesong complex assets". Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  11. "S. Korean factory owners remain resolute on returning to Gaeseong". koreatimes. 2017-10-31. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  12. "횡성우천일반단지 - Heongsong Industrial Complex Info page". Retrieved 2020-04-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. Fackler, Martin (2008-08-20). "Big Dreams for North Korean Industrial Park". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  14. Foster-Carter, Aidan (2005). "North Korea-South Korea Relations: Boycott or Business?" (PDF). Leeds University, UK.
  15. "Breaking News, World News & Multimedia- Yoo Chang Geun, president of S.J. Tech, a semiconductor-parts maker, his company, which invested $5 million". IHT News. Retrieved 2020-04-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External Links

This article "SJ TECH" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.