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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 29, 1957

NOTES FROM A CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE 1ST SECRETARY OF THE PRL EMBASSY IN THE DPRK WITH THE COUNSELOR OF THE EMBASSY OF THE USSR, COMRADE. MAKAROV ON 27.VIII.1957

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    Brzezinski Henryk and Comrade Makarov discuss North Korea's Five-Year Plan and the suggestions and assistance being offered by the Soviet Union and China.
    "Notes from a Conversation between the 1st Secretary of the PRL Embassy in the DPRK with the Counselor of the Embassy of the USSR, Comrade. Makarov on 27.VIII.1957," August 29, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Polish Foreign Ministry Archive. Obtained for NKIDP by Jakub Poprocki and translated for NKIDP by Maya Latynski. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110631
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Embassy of the Pyongyang, 29.VIII.1957

People’s Republic of Poland

in Pyongyang [trans. note:  tilted stamp]

No. 695/144/2421/57/tjn. [transl. note:  most likely short for tajne, secret)

N o t e

From a conversation conducted on 27.8.57 with the counselor of the Embassy of the USSR, Comr. Makarov

The aim of the conversation was to gain information about the premises of the DPRK’s 5-year plan.  Makarov is the main economic advisor, directs Soviet specialists in the DPRK.  Makarov was in Moscow with Kim Il (vicepremier) for consultations on control figures of the 5-year plan.

The 5-year plan is establishing the following general premises:  a. the creation of foundations for the industrialization of the country, b. the completion of the collectivization of agriculture c. solutions in principle to the issues of food, clothing and the issue of housing.

The five-year plan has, in contrast to the three-year plan, been developed in principle by the Korean comrades themselves (the three-year plan was developed by Soviet advisers with help from the Korean side).

The 5-year plan, as Makarov relayed it, does not presume a multifaceted development of the economy or economic independence, which at one time was reflected in the resolutions of the 3rd congress of the workers’ party.

The plan plots out the development of the economy on the basis of the existing resources and natural riches.  The basic proportion between groups A and B is kept from 1956, i.e., 53:47.  A growth in the countryside’s income of over 32% and in the city’s of over 29% is assumed.  An average tempo for the development of industry of 19% is assumed.  The overall investment outlays in the 5-year plan have been set at 152 billion won (in the three-year plan the relevant amount was around 85 billion won).

In agriculture, the achievement of 3,7000,000 [transl. note:  one zero too many, should be 3,700,000] tons of grains (in 1956, 2,870,000 tons were obtained).

The lifting of the ration card system is intended.  Toward the end of the 5-year plan, the Koreans want to export a certain amount of grain.  In the last years of the plan a balancing of imports and exports is expected.  The nature of export will not be subjected to more significant changes.

During the consultations in Moscow, the Korean comrades were reminded of a range of issues:

1.  The Soviet comrades drew attention to the fact that too big a tempo of growth in production (19%) had been assumed, and also that 152 billion won set aside for investment would cause excessive stresses in construction, the material economy and in the workforce.

The Korean comrades admitted that the assumed tempo of investment would lead to the indicated difficulties.

2.  Attention was paid to the advisability and economic results of several of the planned construction sites.  E.g., there was a plan to build yet another textile industrial complex.  The consultation explained that there exists a real possibility of increasing the power of an existing industrial complex by 50%.  Hence, it is not advisable to build a new complex.

It was agreed together that the Korean comrades would broaden the cultivation of cotton to over 70,000 ha. (currently 24,000).  Comr. Makarov stressed that in this way the Korean comrades will secure for themselves raw materials and help from the USSR, which supplied cotton to the DPRK.

The plan foresaw the melting of 700,000 tons of pig iron, 600,000 t. of steel in 1961.  It was stressed that this is too costly for Korea because there is no coke in the DPRK.  The Korean comrades intended to construct one hydro-electric power plant and one thermal one in Pyongyang.  It was advised that it would be better to exploit cascades.  (An overall power of electric power plants of 2,000,000 kW is being planned.  Basically the development of electric energy will progress behind the development of industry).

All the recommendations made by the Soviet comrades were accepted.  Currently, consultations are being conducted with China.

On the question of management of industry in the 5-year plan, a further drawing close of the management organs to production is foreseen.  On this occasion, comr. Makarov remarked that the leadership of the DPRK is implementing the resolutions of the 20th congress wisely and capably.  Gradually, slightly, from the top, the results of the cult of the individual are being removed.  This is the only way out in Korea’s conditions, where the degree of backwardness of the masses is high.

Kim Il Sung was a god and a tsar earlier, one cannot change this idea among the people abruptly, since this may cause undesirable, unforeseeable consequences.  Kim Il Sung strives for changes.  Makarov, who often meets with Kim Il Sung in various circumstances, relayed that Kim Il Sung has changed immensely.

Made 3 cop[ies]

2 cop[ies] Dep[artment] V

1 cop. a/a

Brzezinski Henryk

[trans. note:  followed by signature]

Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of

the P[eople’s] Republic of] P[oland] in the DPRK