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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 18, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 18 OCTOBER 1957

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

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    Puzanov and Kim Il Sung review information concerning an upcoming Korean Workers' Party Central Committee Plenum.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 18 October 1957," October 18, 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/115940
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18 October

I visited Kim Il Sung and presented him the text of Cde. Gromyko's information about his conversation with Dulles.

Kim Il Sung thanked the CPSU CC for passing the text of the information.

In the conversation which took place Kim Il Sung provided information about the progress of the KWP CC Plenum. Kim Il Sung said that three sections were organized after hearing Pak Geum-cheol's report:

a) for the construction industry, supervision of which was entrusted to Kim Il Sung;

b) for urban and housing construction - Choe Yong-geon, Pak Ui-won, and others;

c) for agricultural construction - Kim Il, , Pak Jeong-ae, and Nam Il.

The discussion of construction issues was very active in the sections with serious criticism and self-criticism. A total of more than 600 were present at the Plenum, including all heads of construction organizations.

In raising this issue for the Plenum's consideration the KWP CC pursued two goals:

first, to employ prefabricated slab construction on a large scale. We have the necessary conditions to do this, there is the cement and, although it is in sufficient quantity for now, core iron. Prefabricated slab construction will provide us with the ability to build faster and cheaper;

second, involve the resources of agricultural cooperatives, private merchants, entrepreneurs, and the population for construction along with state resources. Minister of Finance Ri Ju-yeon, who recently returned from meetings with voters, said that cooperatives can allot up to 300 million won for construction and are asking that the government give aid with cement, metal, and timber.

In preparing for the Plenum, said Kim Il Sung, we carefully studied the speeches of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev about construction issues and the CPSU CC and Soviet government decisions on this issue. We took this into consideration both in the report and in the draft decisions of the Plenum.

I shared with Kim Il Sung my impressions about of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev's deep and comprehensive knowledge about construction issues inasmuch from my work in the RSFSR Council of Ministers I often had occasion to be in various conferences, commissions, etc at which construction issues were discussed. I said that Cde. Khrushchev had personally devoted and does devote a great deal of attention to advanced construction methods, mechanization, and the production of construction materials.

Kim Il Sung also reported the CC Plenum will also examine the issue of convening a Party conference to examine the target figures of the first five-year plan.

I asked Kim Il Sung, when is it being proposed to convene the Party conference?

Kim Il Sung replied that a decision would be made in principle at the Plenum about convening a Party conference but it is intended that the Plenum charge the KWP CC Presidium with setting a date for the convening of the conference and the rules of representation.

Kim Il Sung said that recently I had to familiarize myself with materials about the economic condition of the working class and peasantry in the PRC. It is evident from these materials that the economic conditions of the workers in China is considerably higher than the peasants', and therefore at the present time a very great influx of the population from the villages to the cities is being observed, which creates certain difficulties for our Chinese friends and the CPC CC has to adopt a whole series of measures. Accordingly, I charged our statistical directorate with preparing materials about the economic condition of workers and members of agricultural cooperatives here in the DPRK. From an analysis of the materials submitted to me by the statistical directorate it is clear that the average income of a worker's family is 5,100 won per month; a peasant's family, 5,400 won, and a office worker's, 6,000. The calorie content of a worker's food was set by our statisticians at 2,400 calories, of a peasant, 2,500; and an office worker, 2,000. Accordingly, the difference in the material security of our workers and peasants is comparatively small. But this year it is increasing thanks to the large incomes of members of agricultural cooperatives.

Kim Il Sung again, as in the 16 October conversation, expressed concern in connection with the poor organization of the business of the purchase of agricultural products in the DPRK. Taking into consideration the comments of USSR Gosplan, the CC Presidium decided not to make a sharp reduction of prices for rice this year as was proposed by our Ministry of Finance. Prices for rice will remain in the range of 48 won per kilogram, against 55 which were in effect last year. As regards purchases, we intend to work out special measures to improve them. We are thinking of planning the size of the procurement and purchases and the size of the production of agricultural production. While in Moscow I will try to become personally familiar with the organization of the procurement of agricultural products in the USSR.

I told Kim Il Sung that we in the USSR have abandoned planning from above and have conveyed the agricultural products production plans down to the collective and state farms. Now the collective and state farms do it themselves. Free planning together with other measures of the Party and Soviet government to improve agriculture have produced remarkable results. As regards ensuring the fulfillment of the procurement and purchase plan, then our situation is that these plans are conveyed to the collective and state farms in a timely manner, even two years ahead of time, but the rayon executive committee retains control over the correctness of the planning of agricultural production on the collective farms from the point of view of ensuring the fulfillment of the procurement and purchase plan.

In connection with the fact that in the last conversation (16 October) Kim Il Sung eagerly agreed with the suggestion to charge Pak In Ha [sic] together with the chairmen of agricultural cooperatives being sent to Moscow to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Great October with familiarizing themselves in detail with the organization of the matter of the purchase of agricultural products in the USSR, I asked Kim Il Sung whether [they] ought not inform Moscow in advance so that certain comrades are charged with preparing the appropriate materials.

Kim Il Sung said that this is a very correct recommendation and asked [me] to send the Soviet government a request to afford Pak In Ha [sic] and the chairmen of the agricultural cooperatives an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the organization and systematic purchase of agricultural products and the formulation of the planning of agricultural production on collective and state farms in the USSR Ministry of Agriculture and State Farms, in the Central Union of Consumer Cooperatives, and several collective farms.

I said that this request would be passed on.