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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 21, 1955

RECORD OF CONVERSATION WITH DEPUTY DPRK MINISTER OF CULTURE AND PROPAGANDA JEONG RYUL

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

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    Byakov and Jeong Ryul discuss the KWP CC Presidium meeting in which Kim Il Sung reported on his recent trip to Moscow.
    "Record of Conversation with Deputy DPRK Minister of Culture and Propaganda Jeong Ryul," June 21, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI fond 5, opis 28, delo 314.Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116322
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FROM THE JOURNAL OF [stamp of         SECRET

Embassy First Secretary [USSR MFA      Copy Nº 2

I. S. Byakov Far East  ref  N 139

Department

Incoming Nº 2747s  

6 July 1955]

Record of a conversation

with Deputy DPRK Minister of Culture and Propaganda

Jeong Ryul

17 June 1955

[Handwritten at the bottom of the first page: to Cde. V. I. Petrukhov]

Today I received Jeong Ryul, who visited the Embassy at his own initiative.

Jeong Ryul reported that he had come to inform the Embassy about the progress of the work of an expanded KWP CC Presidium meeting convened in connection with the return of the Korean government delegation from Moscow at which he was present as a guest.

Jeong Ryul briefly presented the substance of Kim Il Sung's speech at this meeting on June 16.

In Jeong Ryul's words, Kim Il Sung said the trip to Moscow undertaken at the decision of the KWP CC Political Council with the purpose of consultation on very important issues of state and Party development produced very positive results. Valuable consultations and advice were received in the CPSU CC in a friendly atmosphere with which the Korean leadership completely agreed and which it intends to implement without delay, namely:

1. In the present conditions of the division of the country into two parts the CPSU CC considered it inadvisable to adopt a new Korean Worker's Party program. Kim Il Sung and other CC senior officials agreed with this opinion. However, inasmuch as a number of points of the current KWP program have already been implemented in North Korea Kim Il Sung proposed considering the government economic plans as a militant program for the immediate future for Party members of this part of the country.

2. In the CPSU CC they advised reexamining the five-year economic plan, excluding the construction of several unpromising plants from it and increasing capital investment in agriculture at their expense. The Korean leadership also agreed with this advice. At this point Kim Il Sung noted that the five-year economic plan had been drawn up unrealistically. For example, it has been planned to considerably exceed the 1948 harvest in the gross crop harvest although there were no material preconditions for this: the planted area has been somewhat reduced compared to 1948; the amount of mineral fertilizer issued to the peasants was reduced from the prewar 250,000 tons to 70-80,000 tons a year; and the size of the labor force, draft animals, farm implements, etc. in the countryside has been reduced.

3. In the CPSU CC they advised allowing private enterprise activity in the present conditions, including the area of trade turnover. Then Kim Il Sung admitted that the KWP CC Political Council had made a mistake in giving orders to carry out a compulsory grain purchase and prohibiting private trade in grain, as a result of which a large number of the peasant population were left without grain and were forced to eat grass and tree bark. Kim Il Sung said that the mistakes made on these issues ought to be corrected and the prohibition on private trade in grain lifted.

4. In the CPSU CC they also recommended to not accelerate the cooperation of peasants. After discussing these recommendations the Korean leadership came to the conclusion that it is necessary to refrain from further cooperation of peasantry and to direct main attention at the organizational and economic strengthening of the cooperatives which had been created.

Noting the rapid tempo of cooperation of the peasants in Korea (by now about 50% of peasant farms have been formed into cooperatives) Kim Il Sung admitted that excesses had been committed on this issue. The peasants were faced with this question: the path of cooperation is the path of democracy, the Worker's Party, and Kim Il Sung, and a private farm is the path of reaction and Syngman Rhee. With such a formulation of the issue the peasants of course chose the path of Kim Il Sung and signed up for the cooperatives.

Then Jeong Ryul said that after Kim Il Sung's speech there were speeches heard by the chairmen of provincial Party and people's committees about the progress of the spring planting and the food situation in the provinces. It was evident from these speeches that the spring field work is going normally and is coming to an end. In regards of the food situation, the leaders of all the provinces except the provinces of North and South Hwanghae described the food situation as the most serious since the liberation of the country and all the leaders asked that peasants be allotted immediate food loans up to a nationwide total of 10 million tons. After their speeches Kim Il Sung asked the chief of the food procurement department what the possibilities of giving food loans to the peasants were. The latter replied that there are no reserves. Then Kim Il Sung suggested that Pak Chang-ok verify the information of the chief of food procurement within two or three days and give his proposals.

The same day commissions were created to prepare decisions about the issues discussed. The final meeting of the Presidium will be held on June 20th .

In reply to my question of how local officials reacted to Kim Il Sung's information about the results of his trip to Moscow and the measures planned by the Korean leaders in connection with this, Jeong Ryul said that everyone present and especially the local officials received it with great satisfaction.

I thanked Jeong Ryul for the information and expressed satisfaction that the advice and recommendations received in Moscow were received positively in Korea.

First Secretary of the Embassy [signature] (I. Byakov)

Four copies printed

1 - Fedorenko

2 - Kurdyukov

3 - Tugarinov

4 - to file

Nº 437

Drafted by Byakov

Typed by Fokina

21 June 1955