A NOTE FROM JóZEF KNAPIK, COUNSELOR OF THE PRL EMBASSY, REGARDING AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE DPRK AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE GAECHEON-TAESEONG IRRIGATION SYSTEMCITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationJózef Knapik describes the plans of the Korean Workers' Party to increase agricultural production in the DPRK by expanding agricultural areas, utilizing new crops, and through the construction of the Gaecheon-Taeseong irrigation system"A Note from Józef Knapik, Counselor of the PRL Embassy, regarding Agricultural Development in the DPRK and the Construction of the Gaecheon-Taeseong Irrigation System" July 24, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Polish Foreign Ministry Archive. Obtained by Jakub Poprocki and translated for NKIDP by Maya Latynski. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113693
VIEW DOCUMENT IN
Pyongyang, 24 July 1958
N O T E
The leadership of the Korean Workers’ Party and the government of democratic Korea are unceasingly mobilizing the Korean nation to liquidate backwardness, a remainder of the many centuries of Japanese occupation and enormous wartime destruction. In implementing the state plans for the further development of the socialist national economy, the party and the government are devoting much attention to, among other things, the question of the development of agriculture, raising the agricultural culture to a higher standard, increasing plant and animal production.
In Korea, while introducing the appropriate methods for the cultivation of soil, there exist serious possibilities of increasing plant production, and even of overtaking many countries that are currently more developed in the sphere of agriculture, in this area.
One can observe various directions of work aimed at raising the effectiveness of Korean agriculture. Thus, for example, 1. a selection is being conducted for the expansion of the area for the cultivation of particular crops, ones that are new to the traditional Korean agricultural structure, among it the serious expansion of area for cultivating corn, 2. the existing methods of growing particular cultures (the “cold seedling” of rice, planting cotton in clay pots) are being improved.
3. Yet the principal direction that is of decisive significance for increasing the effectiveness of agriculture is the increasing of the area of irrigated fields for cultivating rice.
For this reason, it is in this very direction that the sums devoted to the development of agriculture are being invested within the framework of state investment, and also work is being conducted with the resources of individuals or united production cooperatives.
Currently, in view of the fact that the further development of agriculture represents one of the serious elements of the overall development of the socialist national economy in Korea, the leadership of the Korean Workers’ Party and the government have reached the decision to begin the construction of the new Gaecheon-Taeseong system of irrigation, which will make it possible to irrigate about 34,000 hectares of rice fields.
According to the Korean engineers’ plan, the construction of the main water canal and four distribution canals, with a joint length of 627 kilometers, was begun in May of this year.
Supplying the canal with water will be executed with the aid of electric pumps, which will pump water from the The Taeseong River to the canal, 2 cubic meters of water in one second. The electric pump stations are currently in the phase of construction in the town of Giyang.
The capacity of the tank is being calculated at 1,400 million cubic meters of water. The tank will altogether take up 360 hectares of surface on the ground. The canal’s protective embankment, i.e., the final part closing off the canal, which will at the same time form a large artificial lake, will be located in the Taesong locality. The new irrigation system, Gaecheon-Taeseong, is to guarantee the regular irrigation of 34,000 hectares of rice fields.
204 bridges with a combined length of 10 kilometers will be built over the canal.
The construction of the canal together with the bridges will require 9,900,000 man-days and the transportation of over 100,000,000 cubic meters of soil.
To build the canal, 1,080,000 cubic meters of concrete, 60,000 cubic meters of cement, 50,000 cubic meters of timber and 20,000 tons of iron materials will be needed.
Korea has received the machinery to be used for the work on the construction of the canal, such as excavators, loaders, bulldozers, tractors and trucks, from socialist countries as part of their economic assistance.
The canal construction employs 30 engineers and over 3,000 workers.
According to the state plan, the completion of the construction of the canal is foreseen for 1960. However, the workers have resolved to finish the construction of the canal in June 1959.
The assumptions of the party and government expect the further construction of irrigating canals in Korea.
Of the larger works, as the Embassy informed at the time, 1956-57 saw the construction (in a shortened time period) of the Anju system (South Pyongyang Province) allowing the irrigation of about 25,000 hectares of rice fields.
5 cop[ies] made
4 cop[ie]s Dep. V
1 cop[y] a/a Józef Knapik
Kot. T. made copies [transl. note: signature]
Counselor of the Embassy of the
P[olska] R[zeczpospolita] L[udowa—People’s Republic of Poland—PRP] in the DPRK