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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 28, 1957


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

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    The PRC Ambassador Qiao Xiaoguang invited a Soviet delegation to the Chinese People's Volunteers headquarters where they honor deceased Chinese People's Volunteers and Mao Zedong's son. On the second day, they visit the DPRK's largest gold mine. Puzanov gives a detailed account of the mine's production capability and the training and services provided for mine workers.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 28-30 August 1957," August 28, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 13, P. 72, Delo 5, Listy 193-236. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg.
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Nº 196 Copy Nº 1

31 August 1957

[handwritten: 010343-gs

[[11]] September [[5]]7]


Incoming 02416-s;

11/12 September 1957]

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

for the period 16 through 30 August 1957




28-30 August 1957

I visited the HQ of the Chinese People's Volunteers at the invitation of Chinese Ambassador Qiao Xiaoguang and Commanding General Yang Yong. On our side were Counselor on Economic Issues Makarov, Trade Representative Gladkov, Assistant Military Attaché Stepanov, and Embassy Attaché Ognev. From the Chinese Embassy were the Ambassador, First Secretary Cheng Wenjin, 3rd Secretary Zhang Shuijie, and Chinese Embassy interpreter Wan Baoqing.

The meeting took place in an exceptionally warm, comradely atmosphere. Commanding General Yang Yong, Political Commissar Ling Zheming (the first day, then he became ill), and deputy chiefs of staff were with us the entire time. On arrival we laid a wreath at the burial site of Chinese People's Volunteers who had died and bouquets of flowers on the tomb of a son of Mao Zedong. In the evening we and the Volunteers saw an interesting concert at the club performed by the song and dance ensemble of the People's Volunteers. Deputy Chief of Staff Xiao Yingtang gave a welcoming address before the start of the concert. I returned the greeting.

On the second day of the visit, 29 August, we were at shooting practice and inspected the Songhin [sic] Mine and the DPRK sintering plant.

Deposits of gold were discovered by Kim Chang-so in 1913. This deposit fell into the hands of the Japanese beginning in 1927, who ran it until liberation in 1945. Before liberation the number of workers at the mine and plant were as many as 5,500. According to a report of Chief Engineers Ko Tae-han (he graduated from the Sverdlovsk Institute in 1952) the Japanese mined and shipped out 15 tons of gold during that entire time.

During the war with the Americans the plant was completely destroyed and there was also destruction at the mine. By the end of the war the mine had completely ceased operations. After the war the Koreans repaired the mine and the plant themselves. Part of the equipment was saved, and part was received from the USSR and GDR. At the present time about 3,000 people work at the mine and plant. This year the highest output achieved in the last years of the Japanese has been reached. At the present time up to 1,100 tons of ore are processed daily, of which up to 100 tons of concentrate are obtained, of which up to 30 tons contain gold (approximately 120 grams per ton). Of the remaining 70 tons they obtain up to 30% lead concentrate and copper concentrate. During a year the total of "tailings" of copper is up to 700-800 tons and of lead, 360-400 tons. The lead concentrate is sent to Munpyeong and the copper [concentrate] to Nampo. The ore is mined in four shafts at a depth of 120-200 meters and goes directly to the sintering plant without being raised to the surface. The concentrate is packed into bags and transported by a (15 km-long) cable railway to the Sunphil [sic] station. Hard coal is delivered to the plant in the opposite direction.

The mine is the largest producer of gold in the DPRK.

According to a report from the Chief Engineer the wage for drill punchers [perforatorshchiki] (there are up to 200 of them) is up to 5,000 won a month, but the average for the mine is up to 3,000 won. There is a hospital for mine workers, primary and junior high schools, a club, a mining secondary school, and a higher mining school. Besides the food ration underground workers at the enrichment plant get up to 200 grams of rice a day and up to two kilograms of meat a month. According to a report from the Chief Engineer the cost of a ticket to mine workers to visit the movie theater is 40 won a month. Films are shown two or three times a week. The cost of a ticket for the rest is 10 won per visit. The director of the mine is Kim Bo-gyun. The chairman of the Party committee is Kim Hak-seon.



[signature] (A. PUZANOV)

Five copies printed:

1 - Cde. Gromyko

2 - Cde. Fedorenko

3 - Cde. Kurdyukov

4 - Cde. Solodovnikov

5 - to file

Nº 527

31 August 1957