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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August, 1973

ROMANIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS NOTE, NO. 01/010123/73, SECRET

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Romanian official reports on the progress of the 6 year plan and the intensive industrial and agricultural projects taking place around North Korea. Alongside improvements in the living standards of the Korean people, the report also notes Pyongyang's efforts to strengthen the military capabilities of the state. The document also mentions rise in food price since 1971, North Korea's support for revolutionary movements in Asia and North Korea's plans for the ascension of a single Korean state to the UN.
    "Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Note, No. 01/010123/73, Secret," August, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives, Matter 210, 1973, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Secret, 1st Division, MFA, Folder no. 1496, Regarding the Internal Situation in the DPRK (Political, Economic, Social, Cultural Matters. Obtained and translated by Eliza Gheorghe. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114072
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Current Internal and External Problems of the DPRK Evidenced in the Decisions of the 5th Congress of the Korean Workers’ Party

The documents of the 5th Congress of the Korean Workers’ Party mention that the fundamental task of the party and of the Korean people is to continuously consolidate and develop the socialist order and the forthcoming total victory of socialism. To accomplish this task, the following main directives were made: 

  1. In the economic domain, the main responsibility of the 6-year plan (1971-1976) is to strengthen even more the material and technical basis for socialism, by freeing people of hard labor in all domains of the national economy and by lifting the technical revolution at a superior level of development.

Global industrial production for 1976 is supposed to grow (compared to 1970) by 220 percent, with the production of means of production (sic!) growing by 230 percent and the production of consumer goods growing two-fold. The annual average growth rate for industrial production will be 14 percent.

In certain areas, production levels are supposed to be the following for 1976: electricity 20-30 billion KW/h; coal  50-53 million tons; 3.5-3.8 million tons; steel 3.8-4.0 million tons; laminates 2.8-3.0 million tons; tractors 21,000 units; 27,000 units; chemical fertilizers 7.5-8.0 million tons; textiles 500-600 million meters.

The growth of agricultural production will be achieved through intensive agriculture: increasing the number of agricultural terrain on which two crops a year can be cultivated; the irrigation of another 300,000 hectares; producing 1000kg chemical fertilizers per hectare.

Currently, special attention is given to the realization of the technical revolution, starting from the premise that the main tasks in this respect are: to diminish the differences between hard labor and light labor, to diminish the differences  between working in industry and working in agriculture and to free women from the burden of house chores. It is stipulated that the 8-hour work day be gradually introduced in agricultural cooperatives. 

  1. With respect to the ideological revolution and the revolutionizing of the entire society based on the model of the working class, the 5th Congress of the Korean Workers’ Party specified the following responsibilities: the continuous and energetic development of the ideological revolution and its status as the number one priority so as to revolutionize all workers and at the same time to reshape the entire society on the model of the working class. It asserted, at the same time, that only by reshaping all members of society on the model of the working class it will become possible to eliminate all class differences, to achieve a classless society and to ensure the total victory of socialism.  

Emphasis is put on the acceleration of educational efforts amongst workers’ ranks, in accordance to the thesis which postulates “to work always and in any circumstances in the interest of society and of the people, of the party and of the revolution, and not in the interest of personal happiness and entertainment” and in accordance to the motto that “one for all and all for one;” [emphasis is put] on the arming of all workers with the revolutionary ideas of the party, with its political line and with the decision to defend it and firmly apply it into their lives; [emphasis is put] on undertaking an energetic fight to strengthen organizational activity amongst workers’ ranks; [emphasis is put] on perfecting the leadership style in all domains of state activity. 

  1. In the field of socialist cultural development, [the 5th Party Congress] underlined the task of undertaking an unremitting struggle, against the ideological and cultural infiltration of American imperialists, as well as against the tendency to blindly copy old-fashioned and reactionary practices from the past, and to idealize and embellish them, under the pretext of embracing the heritage of national culture. 

The number of engineers and technicians will amount to approximately 1 million people in 1976 (compared to the current figure of 600,000).

Starting with 1973 [the DPRK] adopted the technical schooling mandatory until 10th grade.

It is stipulated that all pre-school children are to receive their education in pre-schools and kindergartens, funded by the state.

Until 1976, the television broadcast network will be extended; 90 percent of the country’s population will have the possibility to watch televised programs. 

  1. In the field of military affairs, it is stipulated that the direction previously established by the party will be continued, that is the construction of socialism will be pursued simultaneously with the strengthening of the country’s defenses. It is stipulated that the process of strengthening the country’s defenses will be pursued in three main directions: the arming of the entire population, transforming the entire country in a fortress and continuing the improvement of the armed forces’ readiness while modernizing them. 

The national defense doctrine is based on the following main theses: 

  • Preparing the country and its armed forces with a view to be capable of fighting a war on its own, in case such an event occurs.
  • The outcome of this war ought not to be decided by weapons or military technology.

  

In preparing for the war and modernizing the armed forces, the following matters will be taken into account: the geographical-military characteristics of the DPRK, the level of industrial development in the DPRK, the revolutionary traditions of the North Korean people, its own war-fighting experience, the war-fighting experience of other nations.

After the North and the South started their dialogue, the necessity to strengthen the capacity for national defense is less frequently mentioned in public.

  1. Amongst the measures designed to raise to increase the standard of living in the DPRK the following things were specified: the rapid reduction of the differences in the standard of living of workers and that of peasants; the improvement of the activity undertaken to supply the population with foodstuff and consumer goods; the construction of approximately 250,000 homes annually (150,000 of which will be built in the countryside); increasing the wages of workers and civil servants; raising the average wage to 90 won (520 lei); reducing prices of consumer goods by 30-50 percent.

  

Starting with 1971, the DPRK has registered a tendency for prices of foodstuff and services to rise.

  1. In the field of foreign policy, the DPRK makes the following assessments: 
  1. The general trend for the development of the society is favorable to those peoples fighting for peace, democracy, national independence, and socialism.
  2. Asia became the main battlefield of anti-imperialist revolutionary fights.
  3. With a view to ending the aggression of American imperialism in Asia, special emphasis is put on strengthening the unity of the people in revolutionary countries in Asia (Korea, China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia). Lately, after the peace agreement ending the war in Vietnam, this thesis is no longer brought to the fore.
  4. The second greatest enemy of the Korean people is Japanese militarism, whose aggressive nature has not changed and will never change. It is stated that “not seeing the aggressive character of Japanese militarism, not fighting against it, embellishing the political line of the reactionary Japanese government or trying to come closer to it equal an increase in the danger of war in Asia.”

At the same time the DPRK declared that it is ready to establish diplomatic relations with Japan.

  1. The DPRK will establish friendship and cooperation relationships with all states which respect its independence and sovereignty.

Currently, the DPRK has diplomatic and consular relations with 66 countries.

  1. In 1973, the DPRK acceded to the World Health Organization, the first UN agency it is a member of, and it also acceded to the Intern-Parliamentary Union.
  2. On June 23, 1973, President Kim Il Sung declared that the DPRK was ready to form, together with South Korea, a federation called Goryeo, and under this name, have the two Koreas be admitted into the UN as a single state. 

South Korea upholds that the two parts of Korea be admitted into the UN separately.

August 1973

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