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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 16, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 16 OCTOBER 1957

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

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    Kim Il Sung and Puzanov review Soviet and Chinese advice on North Korea's economic policy during the First Five-Year Plan.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 16 October 1957," October 16, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 13, Delo 5, Listy 257-307. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115939
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16 October

[...]

I visited Kim Il Sung and passed him written comments of USSR Gosplan regarding the draft target figures for the 1st DPRK five-year plan.

Kim Il Sung expressed gratitude for the USSR Gosplan comments which had been sent and for the Soviet government's acceptance of the DPRK government suggestion to conclude a long-term trade agreement between the DPRK and the Soviet Union for 1958-1961, and also for accepting suggestions about the planned volume of deliveries of monazite and zinc concentrate to the USSR from 1968 to 1961.

I informed Kim Il Sung that, at the order of the Main Directorate of the Civil Air Fleet, TU-104 commander Bykov had arrived in Pyongyang some days ago to inspect the Suphung airfield with the object of the possibility of landing a TU-104 aircraft. In a conversation with me Bykov reported that the airfield is suitable for landing this aircraft. He will report this to the leadership of the Main Directorate of the Civil Air Fleet. Accordingly, a decision will be made about what aircraft will be sent for the DPRK Party-government delegation, probably on 20-25 October.

Kim Il Sung thanked [me] for the information and the attention of the Soviet comrades, and said that it would be good to get to Moscow on a TU-104, but if for some reason it does not prove possible to send a TU-104, we will fly in well on an IL-14 aircraft, as we have on previous visits.

I informed Kim Il Sung about the receipt of an invitation for the selection of an additional two or three active participants of the October Revolution and Civil War in the USSR to the joint delegation of workers previously invited to Moscow to take part in the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Great October.

Kim Il Sung thanked [me] for the invitation.

I told Kim Il Sung that we would like to invite all the chairmen of Party and people's committees and also the leaders of enterprises being built with Soviet aid (about 15 people) to a reception at the Soviet Embassy on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of October.

Kim Il Sung approved this suggestion and said that this would be very good. But if the Embassy finds it advisable then it ought to also invite some leaders of the provincial committees of other parties.

I told Kim Il Sung that we would take his suggestion into consideration.

In the conversation which took place Kim Il Sung provided information about the results of Kim Il's and Ri Jeong-ok's trip to the PRC with the draft of the first DPRK five-year plan.

Kim Il Sung said that the Chinese friends were given a detailed report about the comments of USSR Gosplan. They also supported these comments and in particular recommended an increase of capital investment in agriculture. We are envisioning doing as the Soviet comrades have also recommended. The Chinese friends had a high opinion of our desire to fulfill the five-year plan with our own resources. The Chinese comrades could not meet our request to supply the DPRK with 12,000 tons of cotton annually, [but] they will supply 8,000 tons [annually]. Accordingly, we adopted a special decree about expanding the production of cotton in the country and specific measures were worked out to create a solid base for the production of cotton. In particular, it is planned to put 60,000 hectares in cotton in 1958 (in 1957 25,000 hectares were planted), and all the sowing is to be done by transplanting seedlings grown in feeding blocks. The experience of such planting has produced good results in the current year. In one of the cooperatives they got a harvest of up to 23 centners per hectare in individual plots, and an average of 17 centners per hectare of raw cotton from an area of 12 hectares.

We plan to get an average harvest of eight centners per hectare in 1958, but will fight for one ton!

Kim Il Sung then told about planned measures for the further improvement of agriculture. Today, said Kim Il Sung, the KWP CC Presidium decided to hold conferences of chairmen of the boards and secretaries of the Party organizations of agricultural cooperatives in December in order to consolidate some favorable results which had been achieved in agriculture this year; the main thing is to get a greater increase in the production of agricultural output in 1958. These conferences will be held by province in two or three groups, and each conference will last five days. All chairman of agricultural cooperatives will be heard in sections. CC Presidium members, ministers, and agricultural specialists will go into the field to hold the conferences. After the conference agricultural production plans for 1958 will be drawn up in each agricultural cooperative. We will devote primary attention to increasing the rice and corn harvest, to the creation of a solid base for the production of cotton, and to an improvement of the use of the corn harvest. This year's experience has shown that the rice crops produced by seedlings cultivated in cold frames produced a considerably higher yield than crops planted with ordinary seedlings. Therefore in 1958 we plan to plant rice with seedlings cultivated in cold frames in an area of up to 60% of all rice plants. Corn has won a firm place in agricultural cooperatives' crops and it has demonstrated its advantages. We will seek higher yields of corn in two ways: by transplanting two plants in one seedbed, as you have absolutely correctly directed our attention to this in one of the conversations, and by planting the best hybrid seeds. Next year we will take steps to harvest corn of milk-wax ripeness for silage in large amounts. I talked about this issue with agricultural specialists and some leaders of agricultural cooperatives. They agreed with me that this measure provides an additional amount of feed and consequently an increase of the production of pigs and increase of the profitability of the agricultural cooperatives. The KWP CC attaches great importance to the planned conferences with the leaders of agricultural cooperatives, and in October and November we will try to do much work with members of agricultural cooperatives to sum up the results of the current agricultural year, work out measures to further improve agriculture, and strengthen agricultural cooperatives organizationally and economically.

Kim Il Sung then said that many complaints are coming in from peasants about the poor work of the procurement organizations in the purchasing of agricultural products. In particular, in conversations with me peasants said that they raised pigs, dogs, and rabbits but they are not purchased. Interest is falling. We have not established an agricultural production purchase plan. Consumer cooperatives work badly in purchasing. These issues seriously concern the CC and the government and we are thinking right now about the issues of improving this work.

I shared with Kim Il Sung the experience of agricultural production procurement among us in the USSR and said that they could charge Pak In Ha [sic], the Deputy Chief of the KWP CC Agriculture Department, who has been selected as a member of the delegation of DPRK workers to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Great October, together with the chairmen of agricultural cooperatives who are members of this delegation to more closely familiarize themselves with the system of our purchases using two or three collective farms near Moscow as an example, and to take back what is useful to the DPRK.

Kim Il Sung completely agreed with this suggestion.

At the end of the conversation I informed Kim Il Sung about the talks which had been held about the signing of the Convention on the Settlement of Border Issues. On behalf of the Soviet delegation I thanked [him] for the good organization of the work on the part of the Korean comrades.

Nam Il was present at the conversation, which lasted one hour and 30 minutes.