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July 31, 1953


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    The Polish Embassy reports on the domestic situation in North Korea, including industry, agriculture, the economy, and education.
    "Report No. 4. of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Poland in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for the Period of 26 June 1953 top 31 July 1953 ," July 31, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Polish Foreign Ministry Archive. Obtained for NKIDP by Jakub Poprocki and translated for NKIDP by Maya Latynski.
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Embassy of the [illegible number added by hand]

Polish Republic

in Korea

[letterhead with eagle]


of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Poland

in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

for the period of 26 June 1953 top 31 July 1953

Report No. 4.

of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Poland

in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

for the period of 26 June 1953 top 31 July 1953

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I. Armistice in Korea.

On 27 July 1953, an armistice was signed in Panmunjeom. On that day, the military actions, which had been conducted for over 3 years in Korea, were interrupted. The aggression of the American-English imperialism and their Syngman Rhee-ite lackeys against the DPRK was over. The news about the signing of the agreement to cease fire was received with great joy by the DPRK’s population. On 28 July of this year a powerful demonstration of the population of the capital and its surrounds, which was devoted to celebrating the great victory of the Korean nation over its enemy, took place.

At the rally in Pyongyang, Premier Kim Il Sung gave a speech to the whole nation about the agreement that was reached on the armistice, in which he devoted a large section to discussing the significance of the armistice as a victory of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the sources of the victory.

Signing the armistice in Korea is a great historic victory for the Korean nation, which was achieved as a result of the 3-year heroic struggle for its freedom and national sovereignty against the aggression of the united, foreign interventionary armed forces and Syngman Rhee’s venal clique. The American interventionists, despite the mobilization of a large part of their armed forces and of the armed forces of 18 satellite states, were incapable of realizing their insane-criminal plans to conquer the DPRK. They suffered serious losses and defeat in this war. The American aggressors learned about the strength of the Korean nation, of the people’s democratic government and of its armed shoulder, the Korean People’s Army. The Korean nation over the five thousand years of its history fought for its freedom and sovereignty more than once, but it has never inflicted such a defeat on an enemy stronger than itself as in the current national-liberation war. The source of this victory is lodged in the great standing of the Korean nation, which has won the sympathy and support of the nations of the whole world. The Korean nation’s victory in the war was made possible by the enormous support and aid from the camp of peace and progress led by the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, which was expressed by the common struggle of the Korean People’s Army and the Chinese People’s Volunteers against the imperialistic aggression. The Korean nation, its army and the units of the Chinese People’s Volunteers defended the People’s-Democratic regime in the war and its gains on the road to the revolutionary transformation of the country’s political and economic life. The outcome was that the Korean nation defended its democratic base, the foundation of the further development of revolution in the DPRK, it preserved the possibility of fully unifying the country that has been artificially torn apart. The victory in the national-liberation war elevated the domestic and international authority of the DPRK government and placed the Korean nation in the first row of fighters for freedom, national liberation and democracy. The Korean nation’s struggle became a symbol and an example of a struggle for freedom and national sovereignty to all nations that find themselves under the yoke of colonial oppression, and mostly to the nations of Asia.

In the course of the war, the Korean Workers’ Party and the people’s-democratic government were enriched by new experiences, as thousands of specialists grew up in various areas of political, economic and military life as they were being brought up by the people’s-democratic government and make up the new national cadre. In the Korean war, the myth about the invincibility of the USA was shattered. The aggressors, despite their use of barbarian fighting methods unprecedented in the history of wars, did not manage to reach their goals. These methods brought them anger and condemnation in the eyes of all the peace-loving people of the world. They suffered a military and a political-moral defeat. The Korean war confirmed once again that the unity of the peace camp, headed by the Soviet Union, is immovable and invincible. In contrast to the unity of the camp of peace and progress, the Korean war brought increasingly deepening internal contradictions in the imperialistic camp. Premier Kim Il Sung, further on in his speech, sketched out plans for healing the wounds in the national economy caused by the war and for the further peaceful construction of life in the DPRK on the road to further revolutionary transformations.

The basic precondition that makes it possible to transfer to peaceful construction in the DPRK is maintaining full vigilance to repel any attacks by the enemy. The signing of the armistice does not mean at all that the American imperialists have given up their aggressive plans vis-à-vis the DPRK. The armistice is the first serious step to resolve the Korean question in a peaceful way. The existence in South Korea of the Syngman Rhee clique, which shouts about marching North, leaving the American aggressive armed forces in Korea and the American imperialism arming Japan, brings the danger of the possibility of renewed disturbing of the peace in Korea. The DPRK government realizes that at this moment there is the possibility of restarting the war, hence it is crucial to continue to strengthen the army, raising it to higher and higher levels. The Korean nation should increase its vigilance even more in its fight with the DPRK’s internal enemies, who have also not given up their plans to win back the positions they lost.

In this situation, strengthening the rear is an extremely important matter. It is imperative, with this goal in mind, to begin immediately to rebuild the national economy, to introduce stabilization into the lives of the population of the DPRK and to strengthen the country’s defenses. The main direction of rebuilding the DPRK’s national economy should be to create a base for the future development of industrialization of the country by building, first, those branches of industry whose absence became clear in the course of the war. Eliminating the colonial disproportions in industry, leftovers of the Japanese colonial policy conducted toward Korea in the period of occupation, is the goal of the plan for rebuilding the national economy. The plan will anticipate broadening heavy industry, with the simultaneous reconstruction and expansion of those branches of industry that will contribute directly to increasing the material prosperity of the working masses. With this goal in mind, the Korean nation should first of all direct its efforts to rebuild and develop the metal, machine, mining, electro-technical, railway transportation, war and textile industries. Next to the rebuilding of industry, the reconstruction and expansion of agriculture is an equally important issue. In the sphere of agriculture, it is imperative to direct the main efforts at improving the material situation of the poor and middle peasantry as quickly as possible, by developing irrigation work, introducing modern cultivation methods, rebuilding irrigation installations, assuring the delivery of tractive force and the further strengthening of the importance of state farms and animal farms, so that within a year or two the agricultural production is up to not only the pre-war level, but surpasses it significantly.

In the area of developing culture and education, the DPRK faces the tasks of rebuilding all scientific institutions and raising the level of their work. The plan foresees creating an institute of people’s economy, which is to fulfill the role of a mass school for preparing employees of the state apparatus, conducting the serious work of preparing reserve cadres by sending larger numbers of youth than so far to universities in the Soviet Union and the Countries of people’s democracy. The plan anticipates creating the appropriate working conditions for young specialists who will complete their studies abroad, so they can convey a maximum amount of their knowledge and work in rebuilding the country.

In order to fulfill the tasks in the area of developing education, the national movement in the direction of rebuilding elementary schooling and secondary schooling must be developed, so that within two to three years it will be possible to reach the pre-war level in schooling.

The implementation of all these goals will be possible only with the great assistance and support granted the DPRK by the Soviet Union and the Countries of people’s democracy.

Comr. Kim Il Sung’s speech was received with ardent enthusiasm and approval by the broad masses of the DPRK’s population. At the rallies in provincial and regional towns and Korean villages devoted to celebrating the victory of the Korean nation over the imperialistic aggressors, the DPRK’s working masses made commitments to rebuild the country quickly.

According to the press, the working class in many of the DPRK’s provinces has begun to rebuild factories destroyed by the war.

Recognizing the great services rendered to the act of victory in the national-liberation war, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK, by a resolution of 28 July of this year, gave Marshal Kim Il Sung the title of “Hero of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” Decorating Kim Il Sung with the title of “Hero of the DPRK” was greeted by the working masses with great pleasure, which is demonstrated by the hundreds of letters sent to Kim Il Sung by the population.

(For details regarding the ceremonies relating to the signing of the armistice in Korea, see note No. 2421/52/53/TJN/.)

II. Polish-Korean relations.

[Preparations to celebrate Polish national holiday, July 22; 1,000 Korean orphans leave for Poland and Korean students; Polish and Korean workers become pen pals; Polish propaganda materials for Korea.]

III. The Korean domestic situation.

1. The further strengthening of the people’s-democratic government in the DPRK.

Throughout the national-liberation war, thanks to the party’s correct policies, the DPRK people’s-democratic government became stronger every day. During the Korean nation’s heroic struggle for its freedom and national sovereignty, the people’s-democratic government was its director and organizer. The victory of the Korean nation, attained in the war against the imperialistic intervention and the treacherous Syngman Rhee-ist clique created great respect for the people’s-democratic government domestically, as well as in the international arena. Under fire in this exceptionally hard war, the people’s-democratic government was able to gather around itself the overwhelming masses of the population and mobilize them around the supreme task that was the struggle against the enemy, all the way to victory. During the war, the people’s-democratic government, with the support of the whole nation, was able not only to organize production for the needs of the front, but also in the last months of the war to implement a program of broadening production for the population’s consumer needs. Under fire, the people’s-democratic government was able to strengthen the Korean People’s Army to become a force capable of inflicting a major defeat on the enemy.

In the speech by Premier Kim Il Sung at the rally in Pyongyang on the occasion of signing the armistice in Korea, the DPRK’s people’s-democratic government presented the outlines of the plan for reconstructing and expanding the national economy damaged by the war. The DPRK government called on the working masses to intensify their efforts in rebuilding the country, which had been destroyed by the American aggressors in a barbarian way, with the same devotion as that which the Korean nation had shown in fighting the war to defend its freedom and its national independence. The government’s appeal was greeted enthusiastically by the whole population of the DPRK, for the Korean nation believes that the people’s-democratic government will lead it on a road to new victories in rebuilding their country.

The announcement of the resolution of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK about an amnesty related to the termination of the national-liberation war is an expression of the strength of the people’s-democratic government in the DPRK. The amnesty grants total pardons to prisoners sentenced to prison terms below 3 years and to those with suspended sentences. It also provides for unlimited forgiveness of sentences of any length to those who were sentenced for certain war crimes. It releases women with underage children, pregnant women and the seriously ill from sentences of any length. It cuts in half the sentences of those given prison terms of over three years. The amnesty anticipates a halt to court proceedings against those guilty of crimes committed prior to the announcement of the amnesty, those included in the amnesty. The decision on the amnesty crosses off the register of persons with criminal records and restores the right to vote to those who have served their sentences or those whose sentences were forgiven by the amnesty, for sentences shorter than 18 months.

Not covered by the amnesty are people with sentences of over three years for anti-state crimes, for premeditated murder, for forging money and for common banditry.

The amnesty announced by the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK aims to bring back to work on rebuilding the destroyed country those who once erred. The news that the amnesty was announced was greeted by the working masses with deep contentment, as an expression of the wise policies of the party and government of the DPRK.

In recent days, those who had been amnestied began to be released. The prisoners released from the Pyongyang prison by the provisions of the amnesty reported for work to rebuild Pyongyang. According to the press, the majority of the amnestied prisoners have asked the government to direct them to work, wanting to contribute to the faster rebuilding of the country in this way and to erase their guilt.

The following changes have taken place recently in the DPRK’s government: The Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK named 2 new V[ice]-Premiers of the DPRK government: 1. V[ice]-Marshal of the DPRK and Minister of National Defense Choe Yong-geon [Choe Yong Gon]; 2. Former Minister of Railways Pak Ui-wan [Pak Ui Wan]. The Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly named former former V[ice]-Minister of Railways Kim Hoe-il [Kim Hoe Il] to the position of Minister of Railways of the DPRK.

The Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK decorated 62 party and state activists with high state awards and medals in recognition of their outstanding service during the period of the Patriotic war. I am giving the names of the most important DPRK personalities who were decorated. The Order of “National Flag I degree” was awarded to: the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly Kim Du-bong [Kim Tu Bong], Secretaries of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party Pak Jeong-ae [Pak Jong Ae] and Pak Chang-ok [Pak Chang Ok], Minister of Internal Affairs of the DPRK Bang Hak-se [Pang Hak Se], Minister of Education Baek Nam-un [Paek Nam Un]  and the Editor-in-chief of the CC KWP organ Rodong Sinmun Ri Mun-il [Ri Mun Il]. V[ice]-Premier Choe Yong-geon was decorated with the “Freedom and Independence” medal. V[ice]-Premier Hong Myung-hui [Hong Myong Hui] and Dep[uty] V[ice]-Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Dong-geun [Ri Tong Gun], V[ice]-Minister of Culture and Propaganda Gi Seok-bok [Ki Sok Bok] and DPRK’s Ambassador in Warsaw Choe Il were awarded the “Order of Labor.”

2. DPRK’s industry.

In this reporting period, the DPRK working class launched a competition to shorten the time for fulfilling the annual production plan. According to the press, the movement of competition under the slogan of completing the production plans ahead of schedule encompasses an overwhelming majority of factories. In many branches of industry, and mostly in coal mining, some enterprises have completed their year’s production plans with a large surplus. These enterprises’ major production achievements stem from strengthened work discipline, for whose increase very serious political-educational work has been conducted in the DPRK for many months now.

In order to guarantee the quick fulfillment of annual production plans in all production enterprises, close oversight of the plans’ execution was introduced in all plants. One of the forms of this control is analyzing the achievement of daily production plans, which takes place at brief daily meetings of production brigades. Experience shows that this form of overseeing the execution of production plans yields good results. Apart from this form of control of the execution of plans, bi-weekly production conferences take place, at which great pressure is placed on raising the technical qualifications of the workers who have recently flowed into these factories, as well as discussions of issues related to overcoming difficulties in production. The problem of shortages of qualified workers in the DPRK’s industry, because of the signing of the armistice and the need to make the transition to broader dimensions of production, appears most clearly. It is impossible to eliminate these shortages quickly. In order to moderate somewhat the difficulties related to cadres, in nearly all production plants, a short-term form of raising the technical qualifications of the mid-level technical supervisors and workers through technical councils has been developed, at which the achievements of production innovators are shared, as well as through short training courses organized in these factories.

To reach the goal of meeting annual production plans in industry ahead of time, the party and the government have recently been conducting an action aiming to raise the role of agitators in production brigades. The agitators have the task of popularizing and introducing new methods developed by production innovators into the production processes and to propagate the competition movement as a way of raising productivity in production, and at the same time to raise the standard of living of the DPRK’s working masses. The fact that a week-long special course to train the agitators of production brigades was organized in Pyongyang proves the importance that the DPRK’s party and government are attaching to this issue. Lecturers at the course included Secretary of the CC KWP Pak Chang-ok and V[ice]-Premier Jeong Il-ryong [Jong Il Ryong]

Responding to Premier Kim Il Sung’s instructions regarding the reconstruction and expansion of the DPRK’s industry, which were included in his speech at the rally for the armistice in Korea, the working class took them on with deep enthusiasm. According to the press, workers in many industrial centers have already launched the reconstruction of factories, plants and mines damaged by the war. Three days after the signing of the armistice, workers of Pyongyang-area brickyards began to produce bricks.

3. Transportation.

After the signing of the armistice, new tasks face the DPRK’s transportation system. In contrast to the missions facing the transportation system during the war, which lay mostly in transporting supplies to the front and indispensable raw materials to industry, right now it faces new serious duties, such as transporting food and industrial products for the population more broadly than was the case during the military actions.

During the war, the transportation system barely served passengers. Therefore, its new task, and a very urgent one, is starting up the transportation of passengers. The main burdens of this task fall on the DPRK’s rail transportation system. The heroic railway men have committed to implementing the slogan announced by the party and government about starting passenger transportation as quickly as possible. It will be extremely difficult to fulfill this task. As a result of the war, the DPRK’s railway system suffered huge losses, as station buildings, track, bridges, signal equipment and rolling stock were thoroughly damaged. Three months before the armistice was signed, only 28 passenger cars were left in the DPRK. The railway men, just like during the war, made a great effort to rebuild the bridges and track, 90% of which had been built provisionally and was not suitable for the transport of passengers.

The DPRK’s railway men had begun their work on rebuilding railway installations with great help from Chinese railway volunteers already during the war. Thanks to this effort by the railway men and the assistance from the People’s Republic of China in the form of delivering several sets of passenger trains, the DPRK government was able to start passenger transport on one of the main railway lines connecting the cities of Sinuiju and Kaesong on 31 July 1953. According to a communiqué from the Ministry of Railways, on 5 August of this year normal passenger transport is to start on the following railway lines: Pyongyang-Sinuiju, Pyongyang-Gaeseong, Pyongyang-Wonsan. Much attention is being paid in the DPRK to starting urban transit. Urban transit, which was broadly developed in provincial towns before the war, was thoroughly destroyed, just as these towns were destroyed. Road communications in Pyongyang have been started exceptionally efficiently and quickly. On 30 July 1953 dozens of trucks adapted for passenger transportation appeared in the streets of Pyongyang. These trucks reach the most important places in the city. The DPRK Ministry of Railroads services urban transit. According to the press, urban transit has been started up in the larger provincial cities, such as Sinuiju, Wonsan and Hamheung. Organizing urban transit systems in such a short time is an expression of the major organizational competence of the Ministry of Railways.

Currently, the DPRK’s transportation system is fighting very large difficulties in executing the enormous tasks it faces. In this area, significant help from the countries of people’s democracy, in the form of steam locomotives, cars, railroad signal equipment and equipment to create a base for the repairs of railroad and vehicle stock is indispensable.

4. Agriculture.

This year, a plague of parasitic insects has struck the DPRK’s agriculture and ravaged cultures such as millet, corn, barley and vegetables. The spread of this plague presented the very serious threat that crops will be reduced. To avert this threat, the DPRK party and government conducted a broad mobilization of the whole population to fight this plague. To underscore the importance of this action, on 27.VI of this year, the Chairman of the War Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Kim Il Sung issued a special order about the special methods of conducting the fight against the parasitic insects. The order calls on the Ministers of agriculture, internal affairs, national defense and education, as well as the Chairmen of the Provincial People’s committees, to organize and conduct the battle against the plague of parasitic insects. The order stresses that the battle should have the characteristics of a national movement. Soldiers of the units of the Korean People’s Army who are in the rear, employees of the organs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, workers, students and pupils must be mobilized for this battle. The order instructs the Minister of Agriculture and the Chairmen of the Provincial People’s Committees to make the organs on the district, township and village levels responsible for the efficient conduct of this action. To mobilize the appropriate numbers of technically skilled agricultural workers, who will have the task of conducting chats with the peasants with the goal of discussing methods of destroying the parasitic insects. The order instructs the Minister of Agriculture and the Chairmen of the Provincial People’s Committees to deliver the proper amounts of chemical substances necessary to kill the insects to the areas particularly infected by the plague. In order to familiarize the broad masses of the DPRK population with the importance of this action, the order instructs the Ministers of Agriculture and Culture and Propaganda to conduct propaganda-and-consciousness-building work by using the press and the radio.

In response to the order from the Chairman of the War Commission to fight the parasitic insects, hundreds of specially trained brigades made up of KPA soldiers, workers, peasants and school youth went out into the fields to inspect the infected places, destroyed the insects and isolated the infected places from the places that have not yet been taken over by the plague.

According to the press, the danger that the parasitic plague would spread has been contained in time.

This action demonstrated once again the deep consciousness and dedication of the DPRK’s population and underscored the nature of the worker-peasant alliance, the foundation of the people’s-democratic regime of the DPRK. As always, this time too the working class came to the aid of the peasants in a period that was difficult for them. This compelled the peasants to intensify their efforts to increase the productivity of agricultural production even more and to deliver a greater quantity of food to the working class and the necessary agricultural raw materials indispensable for production to industry.

In the second half of June of this year, the peasants launched the harvest of early grain cultures. According to the calculations of the Ministry of Agriculture, this year large harvests of the early crops are expected. Analyses conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture in South Pyeongan, Hwanghae and Gangwon provinces and in the area of Gaeseong (this is an area of the most intensive agriculture) indicate that this year’s wheat crops per jeongbo (1 jeongbo = 0.9 ha.) will be 107.7% greater, barley 124.2% and vegetables 108.6% than planned.

Materials about the sowing of rice this year indicate that in South Pyeongan, Hwanghae and Gangwon Provinces, the area of rice cultivation increased by 60,000 jeongbo, while the areas sown with barley, millet, corn and gaoliang increased by 70,000 jeongbo. These examples of calculations indicate that this year’s crops are significantly larger than last year’s. This is an outcome of the great concern of the government and party, which gave the DPRK’s peasantry significant help. They are also an expression of the deep patriotism of the DPRK’s working peasants.

In accordance with the resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers of the DPRK issued last summer regarding the preparations of fertilizer of natural plant origin, the most serious task facing DPRK agriculture in the current phase is the issue of quick haying. The DPRK’s peasants have entered a competition under the slogan of quick haying. The first harvesting of hay began in June of this year in all DPRK, and the second in July. The peasants of Changdo district of Gangwon prov[ince] have major accomplishments in haying, as they collect 500 kg. of hay per person. The peasants of that province have carried out 152% of the haying plan. Efficient haying assures the preparation of greater quantities of natural fertilizer, which guarantees increasing the harvest in 1954.

In this reporting period, the peasants in many provinces of the DPRK began to pay off to the state the in-kind tax out of this year’s harvest, mostly with early vegetables, grains and dairy. Peasants from the area of the city of Hamheung delivered 36.5 t. of vegetables as in-kind tax, while peasants from Bukcheon region delivered 39.7 t. of vegetables to the state. Because the peasants have been paying their in-kind taxes, a lot of food products of agricultural origin have appeared in state and cooperative shops. The prices of these products are relatively low. The peasants’ efficient payment of in-kind taxes has contributed to satisfying the food needs of the urban population and eliminated the food shortages present in the period preceding the harvest. This way, the working peasants of the DPRK paid off their debt to the urban working masses, coming to their assistance at a difficult period for them.

With deep satisfaction and enthusiasm, the peasants caught on to Premier Kim Il Sung’s instructions regarding the development of agriculture in the period of rebuilding the DPRK, as stated in the speech he made on the occasion of the signing of the armistice in Korea. According to the press, the peasants are massively returning to their old locations and conducting short-term reconstruction of their farms damaged by war.

5. Plans for reconstructing the towns and villages in the DPRK.

Korean towns, communities and villages were damaged barbarically by the activities of the enemy’s air force during the 3-year national-liberation war. During the war, the population lived in extremely difficult conditions in dens they carved out in rocks and burrows they dug out in the earth. During the war, the population did not pose the problem of rebuilding their homes. After the armistice was signed in Korea, the issue of rebuilding the towns, communities and villages appeared to the DPRK government in all its seriousness. The population of towns and villages began to come out from underground, to return to their old places, to rebuild its damaged homes and farms in an improvised way. The population is waiting for help from the state. The DPRK government is doing everything to help the population as quickly as it can. Because of this, on 30 July 1953, the DPRK Cabinet of Ministers issued a resolution about guaranteeing the realization of reconstruction plans for the DPRK’s cities. To guarantee the implementation of the plans for reconstructing and constructing the damaged cities, the resolution recommends that the reconstruction and construction of towns be subordinated to the overall state plan of urban construction. All the organs of the government, production plants, political and social organizations and individuals who own land that can be built on or installations in the cities included in the construction plans, must submit to the overall plan. The construction of these plans or installations must be approved by the construction commissions of the Provincial Peoples’ Committees, which determine the locations of individual buildings and develop plans in accordance with the spirit of the town’s architecture. In cases where the intended construction violates the plans to rebuild the town, the construction commission has the right to move this building to another location. Cases of the vicious violation of reconstruction plans will be punished by law. The resolution provides for the granting of permits to conduct construction to private individuals, and guarantees leasing the appropriate lots from the state, who will conduct construction in accordance with the plan for the city’s construction. Provincial and town people’s committees have the right, in urgent cases and on a set deadline, to order those who are violating the plan to abandon construction. In such cases, the state guarantees that it will assign a lot for construction elsewhere. Persons who own houses and installations that are to be moved may sell them to the state. The resolution allows the temporary use of houses and installations which have not been damaged. In cases when land that is privately owned by peasants is taken away by the state for construction, the state will reimburse the land and its crops. The decision about guaranteeing the realization of the plan of reconstruction and expansion of the DPRK’s towns covers provincial towns, towns that serve as administrative centers for districts and areas inhabited by the working class.

The above-mentioned resolution shows the state’s concern for the planned realization of reconstruction and is an expression of the state’s oversight of the reconstruction of towns, which will make it impossible for them to take a spontaneous course. In the plans to rebuild towns, the DPRK is paying enormous attention to the quick rebuilding of the administrative centers and centers of the DPRK’s cultural life, and one can also see in them the party’s and government’s concern for quickly raising the standards of living of the working class.

The working masses greeted the announcement about the quick reconstruction of the ruined towns of the DPRK with deep joy. Workers in many cities have begun to remove rubble. In Pyongyang, already during the war, the population cleared plots for construction as part of the plan to reconstruct the towns. As a result of this work, several weeks before the war ended, construction began on a city theater on Moranbong mountain in Pyongyang, and a CC KWP club is very advanced. The speed of the reconstruction is quick, despite very primitive tools. Presently, piles of bricks that have been extracted from the rubble and cleaned are growing on the future Pyongyang construction sites.

The Korean nation has joined the reconstruction of its towns and settlements damaged by war with great enthusiasm. It is obvious that without help in reconstruction from the Soviet Union and the countries of People’s democracy, the realization of these ambitious plans is impossible. The Korean nation believes that in the period of reconstruction, just as during the war, the countries of the peace camp will give the DPRK plentiful assistance.

6. Education.

On 2 July 1953, young people started exams in all elementary and secondary schools of the DPRK. The DPRK’s government paid a lot of attention to this year’s examinations. The exams were taken in front of commissions whose members included the social factor. The course of the exams showed that the level of learning is quite high. Such results are a big success of the teachers, who needed to overcome big difficulties related to the conditions of war in their responsible work.

In July of this year, the 1952/53 academic year also ended in the DPRK’s higher education. This year, university graduates attended practical training contributing to their diplomas for the first time during the war. Students of Kim Il Sung University started them in May of this year. Students of medical institutes are enrolled in vacation and practical training in hospitals and clinics around the country.

It must be stressed that in the past school year, the DPRK’s education could boast about significant successes.

Because of the signing of the armistice in Korea, the DPRK’s government faces the task of shifting education from war to peace conditions, expanding the sphere of secondary education and creating new forms of professional training, in accordance with the plan created for the reconstruction of the DPRK’s national economy. A resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of 30.VII.1953 about the preparatory work for the new 1953/54 school year addresses these tasks and the methods for solving them. The resolution stressed that a major responsibility facing the DPRK’s government is to normalize education quickly. Because of this, it points out the need to build schools in coordination with the progressing reconstruction of towns and villages. In order to accomplish this task, the resolution recommends moving elementary and secondary schools from buildings that are ruined and threaten with collapse into safe places immediately. At the beginning of the new school year, to open schools that had been closed for the duration of the war and to increase the numbers of classes in schools so as to be able to accept those young people who could not go to school during the war. Intending to strengthen educational administration, the resolution recommends closer collaboration between the general administrative authorities and school authorities by reorganizing the school authorities to be compatible with the organization of the general administration, according to the principle of one school per administrative rural region. To increase the number of schools, which is forecast in the plan to develop education in the DPRK for the 1953/54 school year, it recommends returning those school buildings that in the period of war were occupied by other institutions to the Ministry of Education and allows schools to take over some buildings now holding state institutions. The school buildings that now belong to other institutions must be returned to schools at the beginning of the school year. Institutions that damaged these buildings or their equipment must return them to the schools in renovated or new condition. In order to guarantee bearable conditions for the work of schools in the winter period, the administrative authorities have the duty to deliver to the schools the appropriate quantities of fuel or to allow the felling of trees in the forest for heating. The resolution also pays much attention to raising the material standards of teachers and students of pedagogical institutes. Beginning in the new school year, all students of pedagogical institutes will receive a stipend and teachers of elementary and secondary schools an amount of rice with ration cards.

The resolution provides for an increase, as of 1 August of this year, of rice rations at state prices for students of institutes that train lecturers for universities. In order to accomplish the preparatory work to start the new school year, the resolution recommends creating special commissions in provincial, regional and urban centers, which will include representatives of state and social organizations and employees of the educational system. These commissions should also be assisted by work places and state institutions, and their collaboration should encompass the broadest social masses, who have a direct interest in it.

Because of the need to eliminate shortages of cadres who are necessary for the reconstruction of the national economy destroyed by the war as quickly as possible, the DPRK government has begun to reorganize the educational system. The issue of reorganizing education is discussed in decision No. 111 of the Cabinet of Ministers of the DPRK. According to this decision, the period of attendance in elementary schools is being shortened from 5 to 4 years. Because of the need to increase the professional qualifications of graduates of technical colleges, the period of study in technical colleges of machine construction, veterinary medicine and domestic animal husbandry was extended from 3 to 4 years. The period of study in technical colleges of the light, metals, electric, mining, chemical, ceramic, silk, agricultural machine construction, industrial construction and fishing industries and in technical colleges of the railroad, agriculture and forestry industries was extended by 6 months, which means that right now the course of study in the above-mentioned technical colleges will last 3 years and 6 months. The period of study at Kim Il Sung University in the faculty of medicine and in the medical institute in Hamheung was extended from 4 to 5 years. The period of study in the Pyongyang pedagogical and foreign-language institutes was extended from 3 to 4 years. The course of study in the faculties of pharmacy and hygiene of the medical institute of the city of Pyongyang was extended from 3 to 4 years. The courses of study in all the faculties of the institute of the rural economy in Wonsan also have been extended from 3 to 4 years.

The decision to reorganize education points to the fact that great pressure is being placed on training the highly skilled cadres needed in the basic areas of the national economy. The tasks facing the party and government of the DPRK in the area of education are huge in this phase and difficult to fulfill because of the significant damages suffered by the DPRK’s educational system in the period of war. The DPRK government, aware of these difficulties, mobilized the broad masses of the population around the implementation of these tasks.

7. A lowering of the prices of industrial products.

In this reporting period, one can observe further tendencies of lowering the prices of industrial products of mass consumption in the DPRK. According to the official bulletins of 22 and 30.VII of this year, the prices of the following products have gone down: cotton fabric by 19%, men’s rubber shoes by 32%, women’s rubber shoes by 36%, sports shoes by 54%, work shoes by 40%, vodkas by 19%, wine by 18% and sugar by 22%. The prices of drugs have also come down, on average by 49%, with penicillin by 75%, malaria drugs by 36%, dressings, such as cotton wool, gauze and bandages, by 75%.

The current price drop can be explained by the increase in supplies of these articles resulting from the broadening of production, the large assistance from the countries of people’s democracy led by the Soviet Union and the end to profiteering on these products by private merchants, who, because of the signing of the armistice, are trying to sell off the products they have hoarded. The final effect of the observed lowering of prices of the above-mentioned industrial products has contributed to the increase in the standard of living of the DPRK’s working masses.

IV. The military situation.

On 25 June 1953, 3 years have passed since the reprehensible attack on the DPRK by Syngman Rhee’s criminal clique and the armed intervention by American-English imperialism. In the period of the 3 years of the national-freedom war, the strength of the Korean People’s Army, which, together with the Chinese People’s Volunteers, dealt the enemy increasingly deep losses in people and in equipment, grew. The Korean war showed once again that armies of the new type are superior to the armies of the capitalist countries. This superiority comes from the fact that the army of the new type is an army in whose ranks fight workers and peasants who have been liberated from class oppression, it comes from the high morale of the soldiers and officers, which comes from the deep awareness that their fight is right, that they are defending the interests of the workers and peasants, as well as the people’s state, which guarantees material and cultural prosperity to the working masses. The example of the Korean war has proven that the nation that is fighting for its sovereignty and freedom, and that has the people’s armed forces, is invincible. The course of the Korean war overthrew the idolatrous faith in technology existing in capitalist circles, and this war demonstrated that technology needs to be guided by humans who are aware of the purpose of their struggle.

On the third anniversary of the aggressors’ attack on the DPRK, the supreme command of the Korean People’s Army issued a communiqué (CTAK [Central Telegraph Agency of Korea] bulletin of 25.VI of this year), in which it lists the enemy’s losses for the three years of the war. In this period, the Korean People’s Army and the Units of the Chinese People’s Volunteers killed, wounded or took prisoner 889,381 of the enemy’s soldiers and officers, including 380,773 American soldiers and officers, 580,644 South Koreans and 27,974 from the USA’s satellites. The following quantities of military equipment were captured from the enemy: 327 tanks; 8,987 vehicles; 145 armored vehicles; 10 war planes; 5,879 cannon of various calibers; 110,238 guns; 4,000 telephones and radio equipment; 30,000,000 shells and bullets of various calibers and 15,000 hand grenades. The enemy’s equipment that was damaged: 2,565 tanks; 3,825 vehicles; 1,188 cannons of various calibers; 163 destroyed or damaged warships and 5,418 war planes.

On 13 July 1953 the positional war that had gone on for over two years was disrupted by a powerful strike of the Korean People’s Army and the Units of the Chinese People’s Volunteers. The final offensive was directed at the eastern and central stretches of the front, which were being defended mostly by divisions of the Syngman Rhee-ite army. The strike was so powerful and the firepower so concentrated that the enemy was unable to offer any resistance whatsoever. It needs to be stressed that the enemy’s defense positions were exceptionally powerfully fortified. They had had time in the 2-year period to build these fortifications. In the final offensive, the people’s forces used artillery fire of an intensity unprecedented in the Korean war. According to the men taken prisoner as a result of this offensive, the enemy soldiers were pinned down so much that they were incapable of any action whatsoever. Many of the Syngman Rhee’s soldiers went mad, a large number were burned alive in the fortifications. As a result of this attack, the enemy, abandoning literally everything, fled in an indescribable panic. In the period of the 5-day offensive, 30 km. of fortifications were ruptured, an area of 160 sq. km. was liberated, the most elite, so-called “capital” Syngman Rhee-ite division, which had been inspected by Dulles during his last trip to Korea, was completely smashed.

According to a special communiqué from the Chief Command of the KPA, the offensive inflicted the following losses on the enemy: 26,000 enemy soldiers and officers were wounded or killed; captured from the enemy were 44 tanks; 1 armored vehicle; 274 cars; 1 airplane; 247 cannon of various calibers; 423 machine guns; 3,199 light automatic rifles; 15 flamethrowers and 30 munitions and military equipment depots.

This last offensive demonstrated the great force of the Korean People’s Army and of the units of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, a force capable of repelling all attacks, and, most importantly, capable of offensive action. It was an object lesson for the enemy, who must now reckon with this force.

In response to the offensive of the people’s forces, in this period the American air force multiplied its barbarian air raids over quiet Korean towns and villages. It must be admitted that there had not been such a great intensification of bombardments for quite a long time. The planes flew during the day and at night, attempting to destroy and slow down the transportation system, but in vain.

A few days before the armistice was signed in Korea, on 24 July of this year a large number of heavy bombers bombarded Pyongyang several times, mostly the area of the former airport, wanting to prevent its quick reconstruction.

On the day the armistice was signed, the enemy’s air force bombarded the DPRK until literally the last moment before the deadline for the ceasefire.

The signing of the armistice in Korea ended over 3 years of the Korean nation’s hard battle for its freedom and independence. The Korean nation, and the whole camp of peace and progress, achieved an enormous victory in this war. The aggressors were thoroughly defeated, and they were taught the lesson that aggression pays less and less.

V. The hospital of the PCK [Polski Czerwony Krzyz—Polish Red Cross] in Korea.

In this reporting period, the PCK hospital in Korea began basically normal work, and it must be said that it has already had certain successes in this work. But right now the hospital is overcoming a number of challenges, about which more below:

1. The shortage of drugs, which were not provided in sufficient quantities when [the staff and equipment were] leaving Poland is a fundamental problem in the work of the hospital. The likely reason for this was Poland’s idea that the hospital would be started in stages. But it turned out that from the very beginning our medical group needed to service a hospital full of patients, over a thousand people, with the numbers of drugs brought along. Apart from this, according to a statement by the hospital director that some of the drugs were damaged by humidity and the most recent flood which came down on the low-lying area where our hospital is located. During the flood, a technical tent was swept away by the water and some of the hospital equipment, including 1 x-ray lamp, oxygen machine etc. were damaged.

Right now, the shortage of drugs is becoming more and more acute because of the constant inflow of sick people. The hospital should be supplied with drugs as quickly as possible.

2. The shortage of vehicular transportation, and especially the shortage of Gaz 67B-type all-terrain vehicles, continues to create serious difficulties in the hospital’s work. There is also a shortage of gasoline for the cars because of the small allotment, which also affects the work of the generators that are to service the hospital’s installations and makes it impossible to start the large generator for which airplane gasoline is needed. This state of affairs also makes it impossible to start the large x-ray machine in the department of internal medicine. Because there still exists the possibility of switching the electric transformer to 220 V power, which is necessary to start the x-ray machine and physical and electrotherapy (right now, the current in the hospital is 110 V), the Embassy has asked the Head of the Health Service of the Korean People’s Army about this issue and is currently waiting for a response. At the same time, because of the more frequent interruptions in the supply of electrical energy, the Embassy has asked for deliveries of a certain additional amount of gasoline, which now, after the signing of the armistice in Korea, should be possible.

3. The III ward, which lies at a large distance from the center, has so far not been moved, which also makes work difficult for the personnel of this ward, who nonetheless work with significant dedication and commitment. The fact that during the flood, the personnel of the III ward was cut off from the center and worked the whole time in very difficult conditions, without sufficient quantities of food, is an example of this.

The Embassy and the hospital director have already taken several steps to overcome these difficulties, but quick help from Poland is indispensable in the matters of vehicular transportation and drug supplies.

After detailed analysis of the hospital reports and after discussing these issues with the leadership of our group, the Embassy believes that the decisions presented in the hospital’s reports for the period of 3.V to 16.VI.1953 are correct.

Apart from the difficulties of a technical nature, there are also certain difficulties in the hospital related to conducing normal political work, and the reason for this is the lack of Polish newspapers and publications, which should be sent to the hospital as quickly as possible. So far, the Embassy has been helping the hospital in this area, sharing the press received from Poland, but this is insufficient. The political and party work is made difficult by the shortage of ideological-propaganda materials published by the CC PUWP [Polish United Workers’ Party, such as Nowe Drogi, Notatnik agitatora etc. The hospital has no radio whatsoever, which would be necessary because this is the only possibility in Korea of getting quick information in this way. The Aga radio, which it does have, is broken. The hospital should be supplied with an appropriately powerful radio, preferably of Soviet production, adjusted for long-distance reception.

Apart from the shortages that were mentioned, the hospital receives no medical publications at all, which makes its work in the area of relaying the achievements of Polish medicine to the Korean comrades difficult.

The Ambassador here, inasmuch as he can, supplies propaganda materials and photographs to make small display cases on the hospital grounds in order to conduct political-propaganda work among the patients and the Korean hospital personnel, intended to familiarize the Korean comrades with our country and its successes in socialist construction. All this has contributed to a very large degree to propagating our country, which is so far insufficiently known to the broad masses of the Korean population.

Our comrades from the hospital, apart from conducting propaganda-political work inside the hospital, have also made connections to the local population and have taken one of the elementary schools in their region under their wing. The comrades are asking that a certain number of products and clothing that could be given to the children from the school in their charge be included in the next transport for the hospital.

VI. Internal Embassy issues.

[The embassy is often not informed by Poland about issues that concern it directly, and finds out about them from Koreans; the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not always answer the embassy’s questions; the embassy is suffering tremendously from staff shortages.]

E. Cerekwicki


Charge d’Affaires a.i.

Embassy of the PRL [Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa— People’s Republic of Poland] in the DPRK

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