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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 07, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 7 AUGUST 1957

This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification, Leon Levy Foundation

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    Puzanov and a KWP CC official discuss aid to Vietnam, the DPRK's efforts to overfulfill the targets of the economic plan, North Korea's nonferrous metal industry, and the DPRK's enhanced technical capabilities.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 7 August 1957," August 07, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 13, P. 72, Delo 5, Listy 165-192. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115643
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Nº 482

1 August 1957

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SOVIET EMBASSY IN THE DPRK

Nº 182

16/17 August 1957

[faded image of a stamp:

[[TOP SECRET]]

Incoming 02277-ss;

28 August 1957]

TOP SECRET

Copy Nº 1

[handwritten: 010097ss]

[handwritten: AVPRF F.0102. O.13 D.72 Delo 5]

The Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A. M. PUZANOV

for the period 1 through 15 August 1957

Pyongyang

[…]

7 August 1957

I visited Jeong Il-yong (Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Deputy Chairman of the KWP CC, and member of the CC Presidium) at his invitation.

As Kim Il Sung's instruction Jeong Il-yong reported that the DPRK government had decided to allocate 50,000 rubles for aid to the population of North Vietnam which has suffered from flooding.

I thanked [him] for the information and noted that only in the socialist camp can there be such relations when a misfortune or disaster occurs in one country and the other countries immediately respond and give selfless aid. These facts once again demonstrate the unity of the goals and views, the commonality of interests , mutual aid and mutual assistance of the countries of the socialist camp in necessary cases.

In the conversation which took place Jeong Il-yong, who just returned from the Soviet Union yesterday, where he spent a vacation and underwent treatment with a group of comrades at the invitation of the CPSU CC, shared his impressions. Jeong Il-yong personally spent [his] rest and treatment near Moscow at the Gertsen Sanatorium. He was very satisfied with the treatment and vacation. He shared impressions about a festival, about the V. I. Lenin Stadium at Luzhniki, an atomic power station, and the All-Union Agricultural and Industrial Exhibits. He expressed great gratitude to the CPSU and Soviet government on behalf of himself and his comrades for the well-organized rest and treatment.

We exchanged opinions about the results of the fulfillment of the economic plan during the first half of the current year. Jeong Il-yong said that the overfulfillment of the semiannual plan was the result of the well and correctly held December (1956) KWP CC plenum.

He provided information that in a conversation with Kim Il Sung he had directed attention to the fact that in the second half of the current year the target figures concerning the volume of production are considerably more than in the first half, and therefore more intensity is needed to also successfully fulfill the 1957 economic plan on the whole. In his words, Kim Il Sung said that if senior officials are not complacent with the successes that have been achieved and work more intensely on fulfilling the plan, then there are grounds to state that on the whole the annual plan for industry will be considerably overfulfilled.

I agreed with the opinion of Jeong Il-yong that in the enormous productive and political enthusiasm among workers and members of agricultural cooperatives a large role was actually played by the December KWP CC plenum and the work which KWP CC members and other senior officials did after the plenum when they went to enterprises and agricultural cooperatives, explained the decisions of the plenum, and consulted with workers and members of the agricultural cooperatives [as to] what kinds of additional reserves and resources might be found to produce output above the established plan. In my opinion, I added, the work done to explain the plenum's decisions and identify additional resources and the main thing, the results themselves of the half-year's work, also show that the officials of Gosplan and some ministries do not know the capacity and ability of individual enterprises and industrial sectors sufficiently well. It seems to me that these officials ought to draw the conclusion that [they] need to better study the ability of industrial enterprises and agricultural cooperatives and draw up plans that are feasible, but intensive. As far as I can tell, you have every opportunity to also fulfill the annual plan by devoting even more attention to catching fish, especially as workers and members of agricultural cooperatives, preparing for a fitting greeting of their national holiday the 15th of August and also the elections to the Supreme People's Assembly and to fittingly note the 40th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, are broadly developing a competition for production output above the plan. Much work will be required from Party in order to better use the labor and productive upsurge.

Jeong Il-yong completely agreed with the views expressed.

I asked Jeong Il-yong whether they had exchanged opinions in the CC or government about how the opening of the second phase of the non-ferrous metal works, the production of electrolytic zinc in Nampo, will be commemorated, and who from the leadership will take part.

Jeong Il-yong replied they have not yet had discussions about this issue but it will be done today or tomorrow.

Jeong Il-yong noted the very great importance of putting production lines into operation to produce electrolytic zinc. [He] noted warmly and with great delight that all the equipment and other technology received from the Soviet Union is the most modern and best, and that new technological processes will also require some change of technology in the chemical industry.

I added for my part that the newest equipment provides an opportunity to considerably increase the level of technical knowledge of the working class and creates favorable production conditions for the workers themselves. But in the coming years, when the non-ferrous metal works in Nampo will be put in operation, it will be hailed in the Far East and in Asia not only for the highest smokestack in Asia (the height of the smokestack is 182 meters and, as the Korean friends say, was built at the order of the Japanese emperor at the persistent and vigorous demands of the Korean population who suffered from the enormous amount of toxic gases expelled into the atmosphere after the Japanese built the non-ferrous metal plants in Nampo), but primarily for the great production of non-ferrous metals, which completely meets the domestic needs of the country and provide large quantities of them to export to other countries.

Jeong Il-yong that this will be a very large complex and will have very great importance for the DPRK economy.

I further said what the newspapers will tell readers in connection with the startup of zinc production. But when doing so I expressed my opinion, as it seems to me, that while considerably covering in detail what was built with the aid of the Soviet Union, the newspapers pay little attention to the fact that as a particular enterprise built with the aid of the Soviet Union, PRC, and other countries of people's democracy goes into operation it has an effect on the lifting of the country's economy, on an improvement of the population's standard of living, and [on] what proportion will be taken by the output produced by these enterprises in the total output of this production throughout the republic. Here I referred to the size of the production of zinc in the past as an example.

In 1944 the Japanese produced 5,200 tons of electrolytic zinc, and after liberation from Japanese occupation the production of zinc in the DPRK was: in 1946 - 1,200 tons; 1947 - 4,300 tons; 1948 - 5,400 tons; 1949 - 7,700 tons; and in 1950 - 4,800 tons. But now, after putting production lines to produce electrolytic zinc into operation, more than 12,000 tons a year can be obtained.

Jeong Il-yong completely agreed with the opinion [I] expressed and said that they really ought to bear this comment in mind.

At the end of the conversation Jeong Il-yong expressed gratitude for the comments and views I expressed and asked simply and in a comradely way to tell him other comments or views about issues of the operation of industry, etc at any time I find it necessary.

I thanked Jeong Il-yong for the cordial conversation and said that for my part I am always ready to share the experience I have, to tell about what has been achieved on particular issues of socialist construction in the Soviet Union, and am always glad to help the Korean friends by one means or another since we Soviet people delight in the successes of the Korean friends in the development of the economy and the improvement of the DPRK population's standard of living as if it were our own…

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