A DOCUMENT FROM E. SAGALA, THE 2ND SECRETARY OF THE PRL EMBASSY, REGARDING THE ADMINISTRATIVE RESTRUCTURING OF THE DPRK GOVERNMENT.CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationE. Sagala reports on the administrative restructuring of the North Korean government and the relationship between administrative changes and economic development in the DPRK."A Document from E. Sagala, the 2nd Secretary of the PRL Embassy, regarding the Administrative Restructuring of the DPRK Government." September 04, 1959, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Polish Foreign Ministry Archive. Obtained by Jakub Poprocki and translated by Maya Latynski. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113699
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S e c r e t
Pyongyang, 4 September 1959
OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF POLAND
D V K. 2421/24/59 [trans. note: added by hand; tjn most likely stands for tajne, secret]
N o t e
conc[erning] the internal affairs of the DPRK
In the second half of August of this year, after a longer absence of Kim Il Sung and other members of the leadership in Pyongyang, some sessions of the broadened Presidium of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea took place. Discussed at these sessions were issues of making the management of the economy more efficient, the decentralization of this management, the reduction of jobs in the administration and the moving of a number of experienced employees and experts to the appropriate levels of management of the economy and directly to production.
As a result of the consultations, the broadened Plenum of the CC KWP passed a resolution, in which it pays particular attention to the issue of further development and raising the level of local industry in the field. This industry currently creates 27.5% of the production of the whole industry of the DPRK, and in the area of production of necessities 45.1%. Local industry currently includes about 2,000 factories (including cooperative plants), of which about 1,000 factories have been created in the most recent period (since September of last year). These factories have generally been created without investment from the state. The resolution gives the task of supplying the population with necessities to the local industry, so as to assure a rise in the population's standard of living.
The resolution states, citing a statement by Kim Il Sung, that the current system of the industry's management is already outdated and this system needs to be changed.
The resolution forecasts the need to dissolve, merge and reorganize several departments and broaden the privileges of the Provincial and Municipal People's Committees (the equivalent of our Provincial and Municipal National Councils) in the sphere of management of industry.
The problem of cadres is tied to the problem of decentralization of management. The resolution forecasts the solving of this problem by shifting the responsible and experienced employees away from the central level. These employees, following the dissolution of and merging of departments, will be able to move to work in the field, strengthening the local People's Committees and directly fortifying factories.
The resolution states that the goals of the first 5-year plan (1957-1961) were met in the course of 2.5 years, i.e., by the end of June 1959, thanks to the powerful “Chollima” movement and the effort of the whole nation, and that the second half of 1959 and the year 1960 will be a period of strengthening the gains of the first 5-year plan, and at the same time will be a period of rest and preparations to achieve the great tasks of the second 5-year plan. In this period, the factories' technical equipment will need to be sorted out and the exploitation of the existing productive powers of factories will need to be increased.
One must pay keen attention to the development of the energy base, development of metallurgy, increase of the melting of steel, coal extraction and the perfection of transportation.
At the same time, the Resolution states that in 1960 the raising of the population's standard of living must be looked after. With this goal in mind, animal husbandry must be developed, fishing must be increased, the production of necessities and food articles must be broadened, more apartments, shops, cafeterias and restaurants, crèches, preschools, baths, laundries and so on must be built.
At the sessions of the broadened Presidium of the CC KWP the initial economic plan for 1960 was also examined.
Already before publishing the Resolution of the broadened Presidium of the CC KWP, the Cabinet of Ministers [sic.] of the DPRK, in its session of 17 August of this year, adopted a resolution on the issue of the further construction of Pyongyang.
The Cabinet of Ministers [sic.] states that in the period since the ending of the war action, 3 mil[lion] m. sq. of housing surfaces, 105 schools, 65 hospitals and health centers, 27 cinemas and theaters, 488 shops and restaurants have been built, 988 thou[sand] sq. m. of road and street surfaces have been lain, 200 km. of water pipes and 1,600 thousand trees have been planted.
Yet the results to date have been deemed as insufficient. One may think that this concerns in particular the quality of the completed work, and also the exploitation of equipment and construction materials in construction, since one of the items of the resolution calls upon the Chairman of the State Construction Committee to present proposals to the Cabinet of Ministers [sic.] regarding the strengthening of the oversight of construction and the exploitation of equipment and construction materials in construction in Pyongyang by the end of September.
Apart from this, the Cabinet of Ministers [sic.] recommended dissolving the Ministry of Construction of Cities and the Local Economy. This Ministry's functions are to be transferred to the Municipal Committee of Pyongyang (the Municipal People's Committee of Pyongyang possesses the rights of a Provincial Committee), the People's Provincial Committees and the Main Administration of Construction, which is to be created. Departments of Construction are to be created in the People's Provincial Committees.
The enterprises under the Ministry of Construction of Cities and the Local Economy are to be transferred to the People's Committee of Pyongyang and the People's Provincial Committees. The People's Committee of Pyongyang was given special rights to found factories of construction materials indispensable to the construction of the city, also outside the city of Pyongyang.
With the aim of strengthening the role of the Pyongyang People's Committee, the Cabinet of Ministers [sic.] decided to name vice-premier Cheong Ilyeong to the post of Chairman of this Committee (for now it is not known whether he will remain a v[ice]-premier). The functions of the v[ice]-chairman of the Committee are to be taken over by the current Minister of Construction of Cities and the Local Economy, Kim Byeong-sik.
In its conclusion, the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers [sic.] of the DPRK resolves to dissolve the Committee for the Reconstruction of Pyongyang, which was founded in 1953.
Following the above-mentioned resolutions by the broadened Presidium of the CC KWP and the Cabinet of Ministers, the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK issued several decrees on 31 August 1959, on the basis of which it is decided to:
1. Join together the Ministries of Electrical Energy, Coal Industry and Chemical Industry, and to create a Ministry of Energy and Chemical Industry. Kim Dusan, the current Minister of Electrical Energy, was named the minister. The Minister of Coal Industry, Kim Taejin, was relieved of his position, and the Minister of Chemical Industry, Li Cheonheo, was disciplinarily relieved of his functions.
2. The Ministry of Procurement was folded into the Ministry of Internal Trade. The Minister of Procurement, Cheong Seonwon, was relieved from his position.
3. The Ministry of the Fishing Industry was merged into the Ministry of Light Industry. The Minister of the Fishing Industry, Ju Cheolmok, was disciplinarily relieved of his functions.
4. The Ministry of Justice was dissolved, and its functions related to directing the courts and issues of arbitration were transferred to the Supreme Court of the DPRK. The Minister of Justice, Heo Jeongsuk, was relieved of her functions of Minister, but remained the Chairwoman of the Committee of Cultural Relations with Abroad.
5. The Ministry of Administration and Ministry of Labor were dissolved. The Central Committee of the United Trade Unions of Korea took over the functions of the Ministry of Labor. The Minister of Administration, Pak Munju, and the Minister of Labor, Kim Ingi, were released from their positions. On 1 September of this year, Kim Ingi was chosen to be the Chairman of the Committee of the Central Red Cross of Korea, replacing Pak Giho, leaving because of illness.
6. The Ministry of Construction of the Cities and the Local Economy was dissolved. (For details, see p. 3).
2nd Secretary of the Embassy
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