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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 21, 1958

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION WITH DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF THE KWP CC CDE. PAK JEONG-AE

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

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    V. Pelishenko recounts a meeting with Pak Jeong-ae in which the two discussed inter-Korean relations and North Korean economic planning.
    "Record of a Conversation with Deputy Chairman of the KWP CC Cde. Pak Jeong-ae," August 21, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF fond 0102, opis 14, delo 3, p. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116031
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from the journal of [faded USSR MFA       SECRET

V. I. PELISHENKO stamp:…2311s   Copy Nº 1

12 September 1958]

Nº 177

2 September 1958

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

with Deputy Chairman of the KWP CC Cde. PAK JEONG-AE

21 August 1958

I visited Cde. Pak Jeong-ae [Pak Jong Ae] and at the instruction of Moscow [Tsentr] I passed a CPSU CC gift to the Central Committee of the Korean Worker's Party, a documentary film, "Stranitsy Velikoy Zhizni [Pages of a Great Life]" (about K. Marx).

Pak Jeong-ae expressed great appreciation to the CPSU CC for the gift.

I informed Pak Jeong-ae that the request of Cdes. Kim Il and Pak Geum-cheol [Pak Kum Chol] about the supply of equipment and machines for construction of irrigation systems in the DPRK was closely examined in Moscow and met to the maximum possible degree.

In connection with this request there is an opportunity to deliver 25 excavators, 60 bulldozers, and 150 dump trucks from the USSR to the DPRK in 1959 (the friends requested 100, 300, and 400 accordingly). Soviet foreign trade organizations have been charged with concluding the appropriate contracts with the DPRK for the delivery of these machines and instructions have been given to ensure the earliest possible time of their arrival in the DPRK.

Pak Jeong-ae expressed gratitude for the information.

In the course of the succeeding conversation Pak Jeong-ae told of the following:

[handwriting at the bottom of the first page: "To Cde. Nikitin for conclusion [[?of contracts?]]. 12 September. N. Torbenkov"]

1. In connection with the adoption today of a decree of the DPRK Cabinet of Ministers about the issue of giving help to the unemployed and vagrant children of South Korea a great campaign will be conducted in the DPRK to familiarize the entire population with this important political document. This will serve the cause of political education of the DPRK population. At the same time this measure will also stimulate a labor upsurge in the country since additional commitments to produce output above the plan will be adopted in all sectors of the economy during the discussion of this document among workers' collectives in order to ensure the production of those additional material resources which our government has selected for free aid to the population of South Korea. Pak Jeong-ae said, we are confident that all the people of South and North Korea will fervently support this decree and will take every step to fight for its implementation.

In addition, in connection with the 10th anniversary of the formation of the DPRK the Cabinet of Ministers has also adopted a resolution granting state aid to the population of the province of Kangwon directed at a further increase of the standard of living of the workers of this province. The fact of the matter is that the province of Kangwon suffered more than others from the war and although much has already been done to revive and develop the economy and culture of this province it nevertheless still lags behind the pace of development of the other provinces.

It has been decided to donate one million meters of cotton fabric to families in need in order to further improve the material welfare of the population of the province of Kangwon. New schools with 500 classrooms will be built in this province in 1958-1959. In the next three years houses will be built for 20,000 families, primarily for the families of patriots who have died and the families of servicemen.

2. At the present time preparations are underway for the next KWP CC Plenum at which [the following] issues will be posed: 1) the condition and further development of the metallurgical industry; 2) the expansion of irrigation construction to irrigate dry fields.

The problem will be raised of bringing the area of watered rice fields up to 600-650,000 hectares in the next three years (at the present time it is 490,000 hectares) and shifting 700,000 hectares of dry fields to irrigation. The capabilities of each province are being calculated in connection with this. For example, the province of South Hwanghae is planning to irrigate up to 50,000 hectares of dry fields in just 1959. We think that the completion of this great program of irrigation construction will ensure an annual gross grain harvest in the DPRK of five or six million tons.

3. Recently the KWP CC Presidium examined and approved the grain procurement and purchase plan for the current year's harvest. This plan provides for acquiring 600,000 tons of grain through compulsory deliveries, payment for fertilizer and the work of machine-tractor stations, and 700,000 tons of grain through state purchases. When determining the purchase plan [we] proceeded from the nutritional requirement of 750 grams of grain a day needed per person in a peasant family. In addition, a certain quantity of grain was taken into consideration which a peasant household needs for forage. All the remaining grain to be owed to a peasant household for labor days will be purchased by the state. The cooperative will sell the grain and the peasant family will receive the corresponding amount of money. If he wishes the peasant can sell part of the grain in his possession to a consumer cooperative. This new measure is being introduced this year for the convenience of a peasant family wishing to sell small quantities of grain in case of need. Pak Jeong-ae said, some comrades proposed that the peasant receive the right to such a sale of grain only after the grain procurement and purchase plan in the whole province or even in the country is fulfilled. However, it was decided that the peasant can sell his grain to the consumer cooperative after the cooperative fulfills the grain purchase plan.

Pak Jeong-ae stressed that this amount of state procurement and purchases is based on the gross grain harvest plan of 3,200,000 tons established in the country for 1958. If the actual gross grain harvest for the current year is more, then the figures for the procurement and purchase of grain are increased accordingly. In this event those cooperatives and peasant farms which overfulfill their targets will be rewarded by the state by selling them various better-quality goods in short supply.

SOVIET chargé d'affaires

IN the dprk

[signature]

(V. Pelishenko)

Four copies printed

1 - Cde. M. V. Zimyanin

2 - Cde. Yu. V. Andropov

3 - Cde. I. I. Tugarinov

4 - to file

Nº 404 2 September 1958

Drafted by Pelishenko

Typed by Akulicheva