It was not easy to meet them in the company. Only on a farm field in Phyongwon County, South Phyongan Province could I meet them.
Han was already a holder of eight state patents in her girlhood and her husband began to be regarded as a promising talent in his university days. After marriage, they always conducted research together. One day they witnessed an amazing phenomenon: Maize and beans grew well beyond comparison around a settling pond where they collected the by-product of a lubricant they were making. Others would not believe that the crops were from such stony sterile land.
that the by-product might contain a material good for the growth of crops. The result of analysis proved that a microelement in the by-product had an obvious effect on the growth of crops. If they developed a plant growth stimulant by using this microelement, it would be able to bring about progress in agricultural production.
But it was not an easy job. They had to separate the necessary microelement from a natural sulfur compound and change the microelement into a form of salt to be absorbed by crops—this was a field still unexplored.
They, however, took the task upon themselves. Despite repeated failures, they steadily pushed ahead with the research, helping and encouraging each other, and thus developed the new plant growth stimulant based on a new technique.
They did not rest on their laurels. In the course of its introduction, they came to know that its characteristics varied according to the kinds of crops. They were engaged in the experiments on all kinds of crops according to sorts of soil day and night. At last, they completed ten kinds of plant growth stimulants for different crops. Soon the stimulants were very popular among farms. They helped ensure for the first time a high yield from a salty tideland-turned rice field that had remained harvestless for some years, and increase crops from earth mixed with crumbly stones and clayey soil several times.
Last year the stimulants ensured good crops despite natural calamities caused by a high temperature of over 40℃, a severe drought and a flood, to the farm workers’ amazement. And thanks to the stimulants beans grew so high as to be called bean trees.
The plant growth stimulants won gold medals at an intellectual products exhibition held at home and the 15th national invention and new technology exhibition, and the technique of making them was registered as a DPRK patent in 2016. In April 2019, the couple was awarded the Medal for Inventors and certificate from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Many people advised them to write a doctoral thesis.
But they are still working on fields saving every bit of time in order to help all cooperative farms across the country harvest a bumper crop.
They value the fruit of their wisdom and enthusiasm more than honour or position, and take pride of life in their research work. They are ordinary researchers, but a happy couple of scientists held in high esteem by people.