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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1955

THE MAIN ISSUES FOR THE CONVERSATION WITH THE KOREAN COMRADES

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

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    A Soviet memorandum containing recommendations for North Korea's political and economic development as well as foreign policy.
    "The Main Issues for the Conversation with the Korean Comrades," 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI fond 5, opis 28, delo 314.Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116302
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[Translator's note: the following document was undated, and was possibly a draft since the copy number was not entered:]

Secret Copy Nº [left blank]

THE Main ISSUEs for THE conversation with the Korean comrades

1. Direct the Korean comrades' attention to the fact that measures to revive and develop industry are being excessively accelerated in the DPRK and consequently a considerable part of the budget appropriations is being directed to capital construction. Express the opinion that with respect to the development of industry [they] ought to mainly keep to the tempo established by the three-year plan for the revival and development of the economy while increasing the proportion of the sectors producing consumer goods. The real economic conditions of the country and the possibilities for economic cooperation with the countries of the socialist camp ought to be taken into account when drawing up the five-year plan for the development of the economy.

2. With respect to the development of agriculture, advise the Korean comrades to refrain from a mass cooperation of peasant farms at the present time and to concentrate their efforts on strengthening the cooperative farms [already] created. In the future the cooperation of peasant farms ought to be done gradually, while ensuring comprehensive and careful preparation for this matter. Direct the Korean friends' attention to the fact that the hastily created cooperatives will not provide an increase of the production of agricultural products and will also become a great burden for the state. The cooperation of 32% of peasant farms conducted in 1954 already requires large expenditures from the state in aid. Considering that small peasant farms produce the main bulk of agricultural production in the country, it is necessary to develop and put into effect measures to help working peasant farm owners increase their production.

3. Direct the Korean comrades' attention to the need to more rapidly decide questions connected with the improvement of the workers' standards of living: a) the improvement of the production of consumer goods inside the country; b) lowering commercial prices for consumer goods; c) the preparation of realistic conditions to abolish the ration card system for supplying the population in 1956-1957; d) repair of the housing stock.

In the process the Worker's Party CC should take into consideration the fact that the country remains divided and that in these conditions it is especially important to show the population of South Korea that much work is being done in North Korea to improve the living standards of the people. This would be a serious stimulus for the population of South Korea in their struggle to reunite the country.

4. Direct Cde. Kim Il Sung's attention to the need for all possible development of methods of collective leadership in the Party and government, the development of intra-Party democracy, criticism from below, and self-criticism. Also direct his attention to the inadvisability of concentrating many leadership posts in the same hands, since this fetters the initiative of other officials.

Recommend holding elections to local people's committees and preparatory work for elections to the Supreme People's Assembly in 1955.

Advise to eliminate the practice of constant reorganizations of the government apparatus and the frequent reshuffling of senior officials; take steps to strengthen the government apparatus, particularly the MVD and people's control organs.

Recommend closely looking into the situation in the army and taking the necessary steps to increase political educational work, and increase the fighting quality and morale of both the enlisted men and officers of the army.

5. In order to more fully involve all patriots of the country in a movement for peaceful reunification of the country, recommend that the Korean comrades improve work with the united front organization (KDOF), seeking for this organization to restore its ties with mass organizations of South Korea.

Recommend that the Korean comrades direct the efforts of the Worker's Party at creating bases of support in the South with trade unions, peasant, youth, women's, and other organizations which exist there and use all legal opportunities to combat the Syngman Rhee regime. The revival of the illegal organizations of the Worker's Party in the South of Korea also ought to be sought.

Propaganda in the South of Korea ought to be waged more skillfully, sweeping indiscriminate name-calling of all South Korean leaders abandoned, and progressive and opposition elements in South Korea who are capable of supporting the unification of the country and the creation of an independent democratic state skillfully supported. Make wide use of the differences in the ruling hierarchy of South Korea, in the bourgeois parties, and other organizations for these purposes.

Discuss with the Korean comrades the issue of the possibility of creating a legal patriotic organization of a neutral character in the South which would advocate the establishment of cooperation between South and North Korea and a peaceful settlement of the Korean issue through the efforts of the Koreans themselves. Such an organization, without openly expressing its negative attitude toward the Syngman Rhee regime, could use the conditions of legal activity to split off progressive elements of the national bourgeoisie from Syngman Rhee and attract them to the struggle for  reunification of Korea on democratic principles.

Recommend that the Korean comrades not raise the question of adopting a new Worker's Party program at the present time, but instead advance a new program of the United Democratic Patriotic Front which would be in accord with the main goals of the Worker's Party in postwar conditions (the peaceful reunification of Korea, the revival and development of the DPRK economy and the improvement of material welfare of the population). Such a program should have as its goal the consolidation of all patriotic forces of the nation to fight against the American occupation of South Korea and the creation of a united independent democratic Korean state.

6. Direct the attention of the Korean comrades to the need for a further strengthening of Korean-Chinese friendship and a fight against manifestations of the dangerous tendency to set the USSR against China. Point to the fact that some Korean comrades still underestimate the role and importance of Chinese aid to Korea.

Discuss with the Korean comrades the issue of inviting Chinese advisers into Korean service (for example, in the MVD, Ministry of Agriculture, and other departments).

Advise taking steps to eliminate the harmful division into local, Soviet, and Chinese Koreans which exists in relations between Korean officials, and strengthen cooperation between them, using officials in accordance with their political and professional qualities.