60th Anniversary of KrAZ! Korean KrAZ Made Under License

01 March, 2019

Licensed production of the KrAZ-222 dump truck has been launched in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In 1964 the first batch of Korea-made trucks rolled off assembly line of Tokchon Automobile Plant “Sungri” (victory). These were the Jaju-64 trucks (Jaju means independence).  Technical documentation to the KrAZ-222 Dnieper, equipment and tooling were transferred there in 1962 under Soviet Government’s resolution. KrAZ bore the brunt of industrialization in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  A young country was badly in need of industry development to strengthen its sovereignty.

KrAZ workers helped their Korean colleagues to launch production of trucks: technicians from North Korea had their training at “KrAZ”. Therefore, Kremenchug Automobile Plant was awarded Commemorative Red banner with Korean symbol winged horse Cholimma which runs 1000 li every day as legend has it. A rally was held on this occasion on 5 February 1962 in heat-treatment shop. The banner is still kept in KrAZ museum.

Design of the KrAZ-222 dump truck in DPRK has been simplified. Materials and components of the truck have been replaced with simple and cheap ones made locally, thus affecting its appearance, as a result, it looked rough. Poor quality fillet welds on dump body, tightening and bucking on pressed parts of cab, poor quality painting caught eyes. Flaming brand of independence and freedom was on bonnets of Korean trucks instead of Ukrainian flag. The total number of the Jaju-64 trucks built was about 10000 units.

In 80s the truck was upgraded in partnership with Japanese company, it was two-axle truck with all-metal cab and modern lines. Three-axle model design was based on it.

In December of 2007 KrAZ managers visited “Sungri” in Tokchon to discuss launch of assembly of the KrAZ trucks in DPRK. But, unfortunately, this project has not been implemented. The Jaju-64 trucks, first North Korean vehicles with Ukrainian origins, are given the place of honor in museum of Tokchon plant.   

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