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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 05, 1958

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK A. M. PUZANOV FOR 5 JULY 1958

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

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    Puzanov visits an agricultural cooperative in South Pyeong-an Province and summarizes his discussions with Kim Il, Pak Geum-cheol, and Kim Chang-man about agriculture in the DPRK .
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A. M. Puzanov for 5 July 1958," July 05, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF fond 0102, opis 14, delo 6, p. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116152
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Copy Nº 3

[faded USSR MFA stamp:

Incoming Nº 01894s

27 July 1958]

USSR EMBASSY IN THE DPRK

Nº 145

11 July 1958

[handwriting: "copy to Samsonov

Examine Cde. Kim Il Sung's requests about

machines for irrigation work;

deliveries of timber need to be monitored (with

GUEhS [[Main Directorate for Economic Relations]]) - also

22 July 1958"]

[followed by two illegible addressees]

JOURNAL

of USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK A. I. PUZANOV during the period

3 to 5 July 1958

Pyongyang

[…]

5 July 1958

At the invitation of Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Kim Il, together with Deputy KWP CC Chairman Pak Geum-cheol [Pak Kum Chol] and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Dong-yong I visited the Samyeon [sic] agricultural cooperative of the district of Seongcheon, South Pyeong-an province. Yun Chi-il [sic] is chairman of the cooperative and Ri Dal-hyeon is deputy chairman.

The cooperative grows grain, and corn is planted as the main crop. Of the 501 jeongbo of planted area 412 jeongbo are devoted to corn. Of the other crops cotton is being planted - 29 jeongbo, and rice and potatoes. Last year 40 centners of corn were harvested per jeongbo and this year it is planned to get 55 centners. It is expected to get 60 centners per jeongbo in an experimental sector of 70 jeongbo where two corn plants were transplanted per seedbed at a distance of 50 cm between the seedbeds. Twenty tons of local fertilizer and 100 kg of ammonium sulfate were applied to each jeongbo of this sector.

There are 235 households in the cooperative. Each household has one or two pigs. The cooperative has 30 sows at its disposition. The distribution of income last year per labor day was: grain - eight kg each; money - 24 won each. Each household got an average of four tons of grain.

It is expected that in the current year the cooperative's income will increase considerably and it is anticipated that six tons will be issued to each household.

During the trip Kim Il provided information about the condition of the crops and the prospects for the harvest. Kim Il said that the prospects for the harvest are good although a drought in May and June caused some damage. We expect to get a gross harvest above the planned [amount] (the plan is 3,300,000 tons). The peasants are persistently struggling to fulfill the commitments [they] accepted, to get a gross grain harvest of 3,950,000 tons.

Kim Il then said we started to really engage in the production of corn here in the Republic beginning in 1955. After Cde. N. S. Khrushchev showed the inexhaustible possibilities of corn and its decisive role in the creation of a fodder supply for animal husbandry in numerous specific facts in his reports and speeches the KWP CC took steps to explain to the peasants the enormous advantages of corn. We created a material interest in cultivating corn for grain and selling it to the state. We helped agricultural cooperatives with mineral fertilizer. Kim Il Sung warned us all the time to have no high-handed administrative methods in the introduction of corn plants, but rather greater attention was to be paid to the creation of material interest. We are doing it that way. Therefore in the last three years the corn crops have increased considerably without any compulsion from above. Whereas in the prewar year 1949 only 282,000 hectares of corn were planted, in 1957 it was 759,000 hectares, and this year 832,000 hectares have already been planted as of 20 June, that is, more than half of the waterless land is taken with corn crops. There will be additional plants produced in areas released from barley and winter wheat. Until recently we cultivated corn exclusively for grain and only last year was some part of it taken for silage in milk-wax ripeness.

I directed Kim Il's attention to the fact that many agricultural cooperatives can already take a considerable part of the corn this year for silage in milk-wax ripeness, thanks to which the amount of fodder obtained per unit area is growing sharply. But one cannot do without harvesting combines to get a good corn harvest for silage.

Kim Il agreed with this comment and said that this year they are thinking of getting no less than 100 silage combines from the Soviet Union.

In the course of the conversation I asked Kim Il whether they are thinking of reexamining the Cabinet of Ministers decision about introducing a bread monopoly for grain trading. When doing this I expressed my personal opinion that it seems to me that the compulsory sale of all grain to the state by agricultural cooperatives and peasants reduces the peasants' interest in increasing grain production. I said that in the Soviet Union only in the first years of Soviet power, in the situation of a brutal civil war, was requisitioning of agricultural production introduced for a time. It was replaced at the 10th Congress by a tax in kind at the suggestion of V. I. Lenin.

Kim Il said that the comments [I] made merit undivided attention but there has still been no discussion about this issue in the CC and Cabinet o Ministers.

I had a conversation with Kim Il after visiting the cooperative.

Kim Il said that since at the present time the Party is promoting the irrigation of waterless fields as a national task the need arises for the DPRK to have more equipment. Therefore at the instruction of the government he is sending the Soviet Government a request that the Korean government would like to get [the following] in the first quarter of next year: 100 one-cubic[-meter] excavators, 300 bulldozers, and 400 dump trucks. Kim Il noted that this means receiving a quantity of equipment above the amount stipulated per the May protocol. Kim Il then added that if some of the machines could be obtained this year this would provide an opportunity to organize work starting in the fall to irrigate considerably larger areas.

I replied that I will send this request as specified.

He then said that the log length of the wood coming to the DPRK from the timber logging in Khabarovsk Kray is 13 meters; according to their standards, it does not correspond to the nine-meter length of Korean freight cars, as a consequence of which it has to have additional sawing to be transported on DPRK railroads.

Kim Il expressed a desire that the length of the logs coming from the USSR correspond to the dimensions of Korean freight cars.

Kim Il then touched on the issue of the construction of devices at border stations to change cars from some bogies to others. He reported that this issue is fully described in a letter which will be prepared by the Cabinet of Ministers for transmission to the Soviet government.

In conclusion Kim Il expressed deep gratitude for the rapid and effective aid which Soviet organizations have given to the treatment of cattle which the Korean government previous requested.

I informed him about my departure on leave and said that Counsellor V. I. Pelishenko would remain as chargé d'affaires.

Embassy Counsellor V. I. Pelishenko and interpreter D. A. Priyemsky were present at the conversation.

xxx

I visited Pak Geum-cheol in connection with [my] departure on leave (he is acting for Kim Il Sung during his vacation); Kim Chang-man was with him.

In the conversation which took place Pak Geum-cheol said that the situation in the Party is normal. The KWP CC is persistently struggling to increase Party unity and solidarity and is waging an uncompromising battle with revisionism. Recently there was an inspection of the work of Party organizations in a number of ministries and provinces. The inspection revealed serious shortcomings in Party political work. At the suggestion of Kim Il Sung the KWP CC decided to select up to 200 experiences officials from the CC and other headquarters organizations in the near future and send them to the field for a long time to help local Party organizations improve work.

Pak Geum-cheol and Kim Chang-man then said that at the present time the KWP CC is devoting great attention to issues of improving and expanding the construction of small and large irrigation systems in order to provide water not only for rice but also for dry land [sukhodol'nye] crops. Usually every year there is a dry spell in May and June which causes serious damage to agriculture. If dry land crops are well watered two or three times during this period then larger harvests of not only grain but also of industrial crops and vegetables can be obtained. Therefore the KWP CC plans to carry out considerably more work in the years ahead concerning irrigation than is called for by the five-year plan. Attaching especially great importance to the expansion of irrigated land, the CC Presidium is thinking of submitting this issue to a KWP CC Plenum for consideration.

Pak Geum-cheol and Kim Chang-man said that the request expressed by Kim Il with respect to deliveries from the Soviet Union in the first quarter of 1959 of 100 excavators, 300 bulldozers, and 400 dump trucks was made by him at the instruction of the KWP CC and DPRK government. If Kim Il Sung were in Pyongyang right now then he would have personally stated this request.

At the conclusion of the conversation Pak Geum-cheol said that this morning Kim Il Sung requested by telephone that wishes for good health be sent to Cde. N. S. Khrushchev.

I thanked Pak Geum-cheol for the conversation and said that during my leave Counsellor V. I. Pelishenko would remain as chargé d'affaires.

V. I. Pelishenko and Ri Dong-yong were present at the conversation.

Pak Geum-cheol reported that Kim Chang-man would also go on leave beginning on 6 July.

USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK

(A. PUZANOV)

[Distribution list follows; the first few words of

each line off the page]:

Five copies Authenticated: [illegible signature]

Cde. A. A. Gromyko

Cde. Yu. V. Andropov

Cde. M. V. Zimyanin

Cde. I. I. Tugarinov

to file

7 July 1958

Puzanov

Akulicheva