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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 17, 1958

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 17 MARCH 1958

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

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    Puzanov discusses first Party Conference in North Korea, in which Kim Il Sung addressed issues concerning the first five-year plan and strengthening the unity and solidarity of the Party.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 17 March 1958," March 17, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 14, Delo 6, Listy 71-80. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115974
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USSR EMBASSY IN THE DPRK         TOP SECRET

Nº 68 Copy Nº 3

21 March 1958

[handwritten entry: copy to N. Torbenkov]

[faded stamp:

…0893s

10 April 1958]

JOURNAL

of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A. M. PUZANOV

for 17 March 1958

[handwritten: to Cdes. Nikitin and Samsonov for familiarization;

to Cde. Samsonov, for use in a memo about the first KWP Party conference

N. Torbenkov]

Pyongyang

17 March 1958

Today all the ambassadors and chargés d'affaires in the countries of people's democracy were received by KWP CC Chairman Kim Il Sung. First Kim Il Sung greeted and thanked the ambassadors for coming. Kim Il Sung said, I was told that several ambassadors expressed a wish to hear information about the first KWP Party conference which was held, which at the instruction of the CC Presidium I plan to do in this conversation.

The first Party conference, said Kim Il Sung, discussed three issues:

1. Concerning the first five-year plan for the development of the DPRK economy for 1957-1961.

2. Concerning the further strengthening of the unity and solidarity of the Party.

3. Organizational issues.

Kim Il Sung said the success of the conference was very great. About 1,000 delegates and up to 500 invitees were present at the conference. Among the delegates and invitees were political and government officials, administrators, senior army officials, worker, peasants, and intellectuals [who are] Party activists. The conference took place at a high level and expressed unanimous support for the policy of our Party. The decisions of the conference were adopted unanimously. We decided two very important questions at the conference:

concerning the development of our socialist state;

concerning the solidarity and unity of our Party ranks.

As the discussion of the results of the Party conference shows, the people support the decisions which were adopted.

Kim Il Sung noted, I think that the ambassadors are familiar with the reports. I would like to dwell on several issues.

Concerning the five-year plan. In the history of our people there has never been such an experience of drawing up a plan for the development of the economy for a long period like drawing up a five-year plan. In the past, before liberation, the Korean people did not the experience of economic planning. The people's lives were very hard. The people lived from hand to mouth and could not foresee what was what ahead. After Korea's liberation by the Soviet Army, when the people took power into their own hands, we started to plan the development of the economy. But we still had no experience or people who knew the economy and technology. At first we drew up annual plans and then a three-year plan. A great event in the lives of the people is that now we could draw up a five-year plan for the development of the economy and have began to successfully realize it. This says that the economic development of our country is already taking on a large scale and it has great political importance for our people. The people themselves are lifting the economy and receiving the results of their labor. Therefore all our people have accepted the five-year plan with great enthusiasm. The draft of the five-year plan was drawn up on the basis of the decisions of the 3rd KWP congress, on the basis of consultations with fraternal socialist countries, and on the basis of a discussion of the target figures of the five-year plan at enterprises, in organizations and agricultural cooperatives, and we held the discussion for about a year. The basic task of the five-year plan is the further strengthening of the economic basis of socialism in the northern part of the republic, in a fundamental solution of the problem of supplying the people with food, clothing, and housing. Primary attention will be devoted to the development of heavy industry with the simultaneous development of light industry and agriculture. We have set a task during the five-year plan of creating state stockpiles (reserves) and increasing the population's income. We will solve these two problems by an even distribution of the results achieved in the field of the growth of national income. We understand that without the creation of state stockpiles we will not be able to develop our economy and improve the economic conditions of the people.

In the field of heavy industry we will place main reliance on the sectors which are vitally necessary to solve the problem of supplying the people with food, clothing, and housing. We will expand the fuel and energy base and meet the growing needs of our economy in the production of ferrous metallurgy (steel items of various kinds and sizes). In the field of machinebuilding we are setting the task of basically satisfying the massive domestic need for medium and small machine tools, machines, and equipment, and also for various spare parts, with the exception of complex machine tools and special equipment. We are planning to meet the growing demand of the economy for construction materials (cement, core iron, etc.); and to meet the needs of our agriculture in mineral fertilizers. The chemical industry will provide raw material to manufacture synthetic fiber (from cellulose and carbide). In the field of light industry we will expand the production of industrial fabrics, shoes, and clothing. A very important task is the expansion and improvement of food processing, an increase in the production of consumer goods, and the improvement of their quality. In capital construction the main resources will be invested in the industry producing means of production and in housing construction. The five-year plan aims for 10 million square meters of housing to be built in the cities at the expense of the state budget and about 200,000 houses (up to 8 million square meters) in the countryside from the resources of members of agricultural cooperatives.

In the field of agriculture the five-year plan provides for a final solution of the bread (grain) problem and a solution of the problem of the development of the production of industrial and oil-seed crops and the development of animal husbandry.

In the field of culture and education the five-year plan provides for the solution of the problem of training essential specialists for our industry and the implementation of compulsory seven-year education of children.

We will pursue strict cost-effectiveness in the economy to carry out all the planned tasks of the five-year plan and persistently seek opportunities to increase currency reserves.

Kim Il Sung then listed the main targets of the five-year plan. The value of the gross output of state and cooperative industry in 1956 was 73 billion won, but will be 194 billion won in 1961, or a 2.6-fold growth.

The gross grain harvest in 1956 was 2,870,000 tons, but we plan to harvest 3,760,000 tons in 1961; agricultural cooperatives and local organizations have accepted commitments to bring the gross grain harvest to 4,590,000 tons in 1961.

The following growth is planned for individual types of industrial output during the first five-year plan:

to increase the production of electrical power in 1961 to 9.7 against 5.1 billion kilowatt-hours in 1956; to extract up to 9.5-10 against 3.9 million tons in 1956; to raise the production of cast iron to 700,000 against 187,000 tons; of steel, to 670,000 against 190,000 tons; of rolled metal, to 500,000 against 133,000 tons; [to raise] the production of mineral fertilizers to 630,000 tons against 195,000 tons; of cement to 1,750,000 against 597,000 tons; to raise the production of all types of fabric in 1961 to 180 million meters, including silk fabric to 17 million meters; [to raise] the fish and seafood catch to 620,000 tons against 332,000 tons in 1956.

The production of the most important types of industrial output per capita will be:

1956

1961

electrical energy

588 kilowatt-hours

975 kilowatt-hours

coal

448 kg

968 kg

cast iron

21.5 kg

70.4 kg

steel

21.8 kg

67.9 kg

mineral fertilizers

22.5 kg

64.2 kg

cement

68 kg

167 kg

various types of fabric

9 meters

18 meters

fish and seafood

41.9 kg

62.3 kg

Kim Il Sung said, we think these are fairly large figures for our economy. For example, compared to Japan, in 1961 except for steel the production of the most important types of our industrial production per capita will greater than Japan in 1955. Of course, we understand that there will also be a growth of production in Japan during these years.

In the field of agricultural production the five-year plan intends to expand irrigated land by 193,000 jeongbo and to provide an average of 267.3 kg of mineral fertilizer per hectare of crops in 1961. The plan provides for an increase of the mechanization of agriculture, primarily plowing and transportation. Therefore a considerable addition of new tractors and vehicles is being provided through imports and also a growth of the total number of draft animals. By solving these problems and improving agricultural equipment a rice harvest of no less than four tons per jeongbo is planned - we will try for five - and of corn, up to 2.5 tons [per jeongbo]. We will expand the production of cotton, flax, and oil-seed crops. In a conversation with us Cde. N. S. Khrushchev correctly noted that flax is cotton for northern countries. We have two or three years' experience of producing flax in the republic and it provides us with a basis for setting the task of a further expansion of the planting and production of flax. It is intended to increase gardens during the five-year plan by 100,000 jeongbo and to also considerably increase mulberry plantings. In the field of animal husbandry we plan to increase the total head of cattle and a growth of the production of meat to the following amounts, in terms of 100 hectares of farmland:

1956

1961

draft animals of Korean breeds

22.5 head

44.2 head

pigs

37.2 head

99.7 head

meat production

16 centners

98 centners

We have the ability to fulfill the planned tasks in animal husbandry if, as the Soviet friends recommend, we use corn for silage. Along with these tasks we attach great importance to the economic strengthening of our agricultural cooperatives. The plan provides for an increase in the disbursal of grain and money per workday.

The average disbursal per household

of grain

of money

1956

1.6 tons

9,500 won

1957

1.77 tons

13,800 won

1961

over two tons

30,000 won

Kim Il Sung said, if we carry out all these measures then we will not have poor peasants; they will be raised to the level of middle peasants. Great importance is being attached to the socialist education of the peasants and cultural reform in the countryside. The large-scale construction of new schools, hospitals, clubs and, as already said before, 200,000 new houses is planned (there are a total of one million farms in the countryside).

Kim Il Sung said that transportation will be one of the difficult issues and a bottleneck during the first five-year plan. The plan provides for an increase in the turnaround of railcars, an expansion of shipments by river and sea, and the organization of the production of up to 800 new railcars a year by the end of the five-year plan at railcar repair plants built with the aid of the Polish friends.

The trade network and the low standards of trade is a very weak spot in the work. We have begun to produce and buy products considerably more, but we still deliver them to the population badly. The shortcomings both in domestic and in foreign trade were sharply pointed out at the conference. The quality of goods in foreign trade is actually low and the packaging is poor. The CC is thinking of carefully studying this issue and we plan to again discuss the issue of improving domestic and foreign trade at a KWP CC Plenum before summer.

Unquestionably, said Kim Il Sung, the five-year plan for the development of the economy which has been adopted is not easy and is intense, but we have the ability to carry it out. Why? The target figures have been discussed with workers, peasants, and intellectuals for about a year and the approved figures of the five-year plan are somewhat less than the commitments accepted by the workers and members of agricultural cooperatives. In addition, the experience of the fulfillment of the first year of the five-year plan, 1957, says that if our managerial personnel are closely connected with the workers of the enterprises and the members of agricultural cooperatives then the resources will be found to successfully fulfill the plans outlined.

Kim Il Sung noted that during the five-year plan we will also undoubtedly feel the sympathy and support from the Soviet Union, the PRC, and all the countries of the socialist camp. What we don’t know, we will ask our friends.

The adoption, publication, and implementation of the five-year plan will undoubtedly promote the reunification of our native land since to a certain degree the five-year plan responds to our national challenges [zadachi].

The Party conference charged the Cabinet of Ministers with submitting the five-year plan for the development of the DPRK economy for discussion at a session of the Supreme People's Assembly.

Kim Il Sung said the second issue examined at the conference, about the further strengthening of Party unity and solidarity is very important for us. In order to strengthen Party unity and solidarity we need to wage a struggle against factionalists, dissenters, and parochialism, all these manifestations of bourgeois ideology, which as is well-known have nothing in common with proletarian ideology. In the history of the Korean revolutionary movement, back in the '20s factionalists wrecked the Party; it was disbanded. Therefore we didn't have our own revolutionary Party, and a struggle was not waged against all sorts of factionalists. After the country's liberation by the Soviet Army the remaining factionalist groups like the "ML [Marxist-Leninist]" and "Tuesday" wormed their way into our Party and waged open combat with us. In South Korea during the war because of factional struggle the revolutionary Party suffered complete defeat and was destroyed by Syngman Rhee's supporters and the Americans. Recently, taking advantage of attacks by imperialist forces against the international Communist movement and against the Soviet Union, factionalists in our Party opened a struggle against the KWP CC, against the policy being pursued by the CC. At the August 1956 Plenum the factionalists were exposed, then there was the September Plenum and after these Plenums we continued the fight against factionalists in the KWP. The Party conference unanimously supported the struggle against the factionalists and demanded that our Party unity be protected like our dearest possession. The Party conference demanded that all work be pursued on the basis of the basis of an observance of Leninist norms of intra-Party life and to strictly ensure that Party members serve the interests of the republic, the interests of our Party, and fight those who put their personal interests above the interests of the Party and the republic. The conference demanded that all the educational work of our Party be improved, that bourgeois influence be fought in every way, and that the Marxist-Leninist world view be consolidated among senior officials and the working class. The Party conference stressed the unshakeable principles of democratic centralism. The conference then stressed the need to fight revisionism. Many think that there are no revisionists in our Party. In fact, the factionalists in the KWP acted under the banner of revisionism. They denied the leading role of the KWP. For example, they considered the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly to be above the Presidium of the KWP CC; they considered the Korean People's Army the Army of the People's Patriotic Front. In the state apparatus there were managers who thought that the KWP interferes a lot in the economic life of the country, that the Party cannot guide the development of science and technology. All this is a denial of the leading role of our Party. The revisionist denied that we have a dictatorship of the proletariat. Under this so-called defense of the interests of the individual they were against the use of the principles of the dictatorship of the proletariat with regard to the bourgeoisie and our enemies. For example, in a rural locality some began to use former kulaks and landowners, denying class warfare in the countryside…[Translator's note: three pages are missing at this point]

In conclusion Kim Il Sung said that the conference demonstrated the unity and solidarity of our Party ranks.

Romanian Ambassador Anton Tatu Jianu thanked Kim Il Sung for the information on behalf of all the ambassadors and said that it will help them in their common work.

Kim Il Sung noted that if such conversations will help, he is ready to meeting with the ambassadors in the future.

xxx

At the instruction of the CPSU CC Department I presented Kim Il Sung with the stenographic record of the conference of Communist and worker's Parties held in Moscow between 14 and 16 November 1957.

Kim Il Sung thanked [me].

I also informed Kim Il Sung that the CPSU CC and the Soviet government are inviting a group of senior Party and government officials and their family members to the USSR for vacation in 1958, about which I had informed Pak Jeong-ae in Kim Il Sung's absence on 11 March.

Kim Il Sung thanked [the CPSU CC] for the invitation and said that they will discuss this issue in the KWP CC.

I told Kim Il Sung that, remembering his recommendation to visit the machinebuilding factories in Kanggye, I have decided to go on a four- or five-day trip tomorrow, 18 March, to familiarize myself with these factories. I asked if there would be any requests.

Kim Il Sung said that are at present no questions associated with the deliveries of equipment and materials from the USSR for the Kanggye factories.

We arranged that I would inform him of my impressions on return from the trip.

SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK

[signature] (A. PUZANOV)

Five copies printed

1 - Cde. A. A. Gromyko

2 - Cde. Yu. A. Andropov

3 - Cde. M. V. Zimyanin

4 - Cde. I. I. Tugarinov

5 - to file

Nº 168

Drafted by Puzanov

Typed by Kuvamina

[17 March]1958