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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 20, 1960

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 20-23 SEPTEMBER 1960

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    A.M. Puzanov reports on his visit to South Hamgyong province. During his trip, he visits Chzhoyan agricultural cooperative, Ryonseon machine building plant, Hungnam Chemical Fertilizer Works, and the Kwanpo state poultry farm.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 20-23 September 1960," September 20, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF fond 0102, opis 16, delo 7, p.102-129. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119465
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USSR TOP SECRET

MFA stamp:   Copy Nº 3

FROM THE JOURNAL

OF A. M. PUZANOV

02153-gs

10 October 1960

30 September 1960

Nº 162

[handwritten in the left to G. Ye. Samsonov" and two

other illegible names, one followed by "delo [file]] 035" and the other by "17 October 1960"]

JOURNAL

of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK Cde. A. M. PUZANOV

from 12 through 30 September 1960

Pyongyang

[…]

20-23 September 1960

I went to the province of South Hamgyong together with Kwon Jun [sic], Deputy Chief of the 1st Department of the MFA, and Embassy Third Secretary D. A. Priyemsky.

During the trip we visited and inspected the Chzhoyan [sic] agricultural cooperative, construction areas of Vinalon and vinyl chloride plants, the Ryonseon [sic] machinebuilding plant, the Hungnam chemical fertilizer works, the dyeing plan, and the Kwanpo [sic] state poultry farm.

On the way to Hamhung we spent the night in Wonsan in a newly-built guest house on the shore of the Sea of Japan eight kilometers from the city. Soviet Party officials (Agkantsev, Kashtanov, Kuratov, Grigor'yev, and Voronin) were satisfied with the vacation situation and conditions. They unanimously noted the great concern and attention from all the Korean service workers. Two KWP CC officials were located with them. No complaints have come.

During the stay in Hamhung and Hungnam I had three meetings and conversations with Hyeon Mu-kwan [sic], the chairman of the provincial Party committee, and also with leaders and senior officials of industrial enterprises.

The Chzhoyan agricultural cooperative. During a conversation with Ri Deok-che [sic], chairman of the board of the agricultural cooperative, who is simultaneously chairman of the people's committee of the ri, some figures of the cooperative's economic activity were specified and ascertained. For example, the chairman said that 805 jeongbo are devoted to rice. The average yield in 1959 was 4.5 tons per jeongbo, and this year it is expected to get an average of five tons per jeongbo. It is proposed to distribute 2,700 kg of grain and 420 won in currency to each household this year. The calculation is an average of four kg of grain, predominantly rice, per workday. Exempt [osvobozhdennye] members of the board are also rated workdays as follows: chairman, 1.2 workday; deputy chairman and agronomist, 1.1 workday; bookkeeper, 0.3 workdays per day.

A bonus payment for work is employed in the cooperative. For example, for field teams an average rice harvest is set at 4.2 tons per jeongbo. For the garden team of Cde. Han Si-dol [sic] an apple harvest of 17.8 tons per jeongbo was set. The entire rice harvest above plan will be distributed by workdays to that team which ensured it is above plan. The income from the apple harvest expressed above the target is distributed among members of the team. As a rule, members of an agricultural cooperative prefer to get bonuses in cash. The purchase price for applies is 370 won per ton.

In 1959 the total apple harvest in the cooperative was 1,100 tons. This year it is expected to get 2,000 tons, of which 600 tons will be exported. The entire apple harvest will be sold to the state. Chestnuts, walnuts, grapes, and plums are cultivated besides apples and orchards of the cooperatives. There is a 47-jeongbo plantation of mulberries.

One or two pigs is raised per year in each peasant household. The pigs are sold to the state at an average weight of 60-70 kg at a price of two won, thirty chon per kilogram of live weight.

During a tour of the orchard the chairman introduced orchard team leader Han Si-dol [sic]. Before liberation she was an illiterate woman. At the present time she heads a leading team which plans to gather 20 tons of apples per jeongbo this year. Han Si-dol's husband died during the war, leaving two sons, who study in secondary school.

There are good day nurseries and a kindergarten in the agricultural cooperative which are maintained at the expense of the cooperative [za schet khozyaystva]. The agricultural cooperative is a good enterprise. Chairman of the board Ri Deok-che comes from the peasant district where the cooperative is located and knows management well. He makes the impression of a thoughtful and experienced organizer and leader of the collective economy.

The Ryonseon machinebuilding plant is the only enterprise in the republic producing large unique machine tools and machines. A vertical lathe with a faceplate diameter of eight meters was designed and manufactured at the plant in five months in 195. At the present time the plant is engaged in the manufacture of a large hydraulic press with a capacity of 3,000 tons which will be transferred to the Hwanghae metallurgical plant after testing at the plant. The total of the plant's machine tools is about 540 various machine tools, of which 300 are metalworking (there were 50 machine tools at the plant during the years of Japanese domination).

Five thousand manual laborers and office workers and 260 technical and engineering personnel, of which 48 are engineers, work at the plant. Secretary of the Party Committee Kim Hong-hwan [sic], familiarized [us] with the operation of the plant (the director was at a plenum of the provincial Party committee). He said that the plant's collective greeted the upcoming visit of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev to the DPRK with great enthusiasm and await him as a guest there. The plant's workers have taken on increased commitments and are meeting them successfully.

The Hungnam Chemical Fertilizer Works. I had a conversation with the director of the works, Ryeon Tae-geon [sic]. We inspected the main shops, and talked about prime cost. The director displayed unawareness about this issue. It is absolutely obvious that the management of the works deals little with question of economics. After clarification in the bookkeeping office we were informed that the target prime cost for ammonium sulfate without packaging is 58 won 38 chon per ton, and the actual prime cost is 52 won 58 chon. The selling price per ton is 62 won 58 chon packaged and 58 won 65 chon unpackaged.

The works gave the stage 33,000,000 won of profit in 1959.

The construction of a polyvinyl chloride plant will be finished by the end of this year. Up to 500 manual laborers, six engineers, and 10 technicians will work at the plant. The staffing of the plant with technical personnel is complete. It is expected that the plan will produce 6,000 tons of vinyl chloride a year. Plant management will be subordinate to the management of the Bongun [sic] Chemical Plant (located on the grounds of the plant).

The construction of the vinyl chloride plant is also being done on the grounds of the Bongun Chemical Plant. The political and productive activity of the workers rose after the recent visit to the construction by Kim Il Sung. Help from the outside was increased.

The dyeing plant, built with the aid of the PRC is rated at the production of 900 tons of dye a year. It is located on the grounds of the Bongun Chemical Plant. It makes a good impression. It is preparing for commissioning.

The Kwanpo state poultry farm. During the visit to the farm I had a conversation with senior officials of the enterprise. Farm director Kim Byon-su [sic] said the following.

The farm was founded in 1954. The location for the farm was chosen by Kim Il Sung personally. The farm, which engages exclusively in raising Peking ducks, is based at a nearby lake, the surface area of which is 1,200 jeongbo (at the present time the farm uses about 600 jeongbo). The lake is quite rich in a special kind of algae which contains many nutrients and is good food for the ducks. The algae are extracted from the lake with the aid of simple devices.

During the founding of the farm its workers were faced with the task of delivering duck meat of up to 2,000 tons per year. The fulfillment of this task is being envisioned this year.

At the present time 1,245 manual laborers and office workers work at the farm. The following production teams are at the farm: four to raise the ducks, one to collect the eggs, one incubator team, one construction team, and one mechanical repair team. Feed is cultivated in fields belonging to the farm, whose area is 310 jeongbo: barley, cabbage, fodder beets, and sweet potatoes. A considerable part of the feed is delivered to the state at the present time. The breeding stock is 19,000. It is expected to gather 1,600,000 eggs this year. There are a total of 375,000 ducks at the farm.

The farm has five Soviet-made Rekord incubators and eight incubators produced at the farm.

After incubation the ducks are on open pens under the care of a 1:1,000 ration of farm workers until they are 30 days old.

At age 60-65 days the ducks are handed over to Hamhung for slaughter at an average weight of 1.8 kg at a price of two won 35 chon per kilogram of live weight. The farm received 75,000 won of profit in 1959.

Beginning this year the system of wage payment recommended by the KWP CC depending on the end results of the year's work was introduced at the farm for the first time. Under this system each production team is set an assignment for the year. It provided the result of production quantitatively, the value, and all the expenses; the wage is calculated as an average of 60 won a month per worker. The size of the profit is indicated. When recalculating the income part and the profit at the end of the year the workers receive a wage above that planned; when not fulfilled, it is correspondingly lower. Each worker is issued a monthly advance of 20 won and above depending on the number of family members.

As is evident from the conversation on the whole the recommended system of labor payment causes interest among the workers and stimulates an improvement of labor. However, it can it said that issuing a dependency [poyedotskaya] advance causes an objection. The farm's management does not know how to act in the event of the non-fulfillment of the plan to deliver meat because not enough of the planned feed was received from the state. It seems to us that one could establish targets by the quarter, and not just for the year. The farm's management does not have clarity and does not get any help from the Ministry of Agriculture concerning this and other questions which arise about the new payment.

Much construction of poultry yards has been done on the farm during this year. There are many workers, which increases the prime cost.

On the whole, the farm produces a good impression.

In my opinion, little is devoted to pedigree work on the farm. Eight or 10 drakes were brought in for pedigree purposes only two years ago. This is clearly insufficient.

xxx

In conversation leaders of the province told of the great political and labor enthusiasm in the province. The workers of the province await the arrival of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev with great expectations.

They also stressed the great help given them by Cde. Kim Il Sung during [his] recent visit to the province.

The following reports by leaders of the province call attention to themselves. At a meeting of Party activists Cde. Kim Il Sung recommended leaving 400 kg of grain of that issued for labor days for each person in an agricultural cooperative. He recommended selling the remaining quantity to the state. It seems to us that an average of 400 kg for each person is clearly a lot.

[…]

SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK [signature] (A. Puzanov)

Five copies sent

1 - Cde. A. A. Gromyko

2 - Cde. Yu. V. Andropov

3 - Cde. V. I. Tugarinov

4 - UVPI MID SSSR

5 - to file

Nº 480, at

30 September 1960