Under the guidance of Chairman Kim Jong Il, North Koreas nation-wide economic, political, and social campaigns typically begin and end abruptly, according to the leaders whims. North Koreas information technology campaign gained prominence early in 2001 with these instructions in the New Years Address: A central task for building up the economy this year is to steadily forge ahead with the work to reconstruct the overall peoples economy with modern technology while revamping the existing economic basis and maximizing its power. The technological reconstruction of the peoples economy is a main link in the economic work at present, and it is a pressing task that cannot afford to be delayed any longer. We should renew all plants and enterprises with modern technology and build new production bases based on the latest science and technology. The entire society should give importance to science and technology and promote technological innovation.147 The roots of the IT campaign can be traced at least as far back as the 1980s, when Kim Il Sung became acquainted firsthand with European science and technology during his 1984 European trip.148 In the late 1980s, North Korean students were sent to Europe for technology training and soon a few technology institutes began to operate in North Korea. Most of students who had been abroad were withdrawn in the early 1990s. But in the mid-1990s, under Kim Jong Ils leadership, more vigorous efforts were made to promote technology, including the establishment of an electronic industry ministry devoted to IT in 1999. The year of 1999 was also designated as the year of science.