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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 28, 1960

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 28 SEPTEMBER 1960

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    Puzanov suggests measures to implement during the first five-year plan to further North Korea's economic growth. Puzanov also informs Pak Seong-cheol of a change to Khrushchev's scheduled visit to the DPRK.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 28 September 1960," September 28, 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/119467
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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

[…]

28 September 1960

I visited Pak Seong-cheol and had a three-hour conversation with him. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ryu Jun-sik and Embassy Third Secretary D. A. Priyemsky took part in the conversation.

At the beginning of the conversation I informed Pak Seong-cheol about my impressions from trips to a number of enterprises and agricultural cooperatives, namely: the Hwanghae metallurgical plant, the Anju irrigation system, the Lipsok [sic] and Chzhoyan [sic] agricultural cooperatives, the construction of new Vinalon and vinyl chloride plants, the Ryonson [sic] machinebuilding plant, the Hungnam chemical fertilizer plant, the dyeing plant, and the Kwanpho [sic] state poultry farm.

I said that everywhere I saw the great political and labor enthusiasm of the workers inspired by the substantive and long-range report of Cde. Kim Il Sung devoted to the 15th anniversary of the liberation of Korea, the decisions of the KWP CC August Plenum, and the upcoming visit to the DPRK of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev. The collectives of manual laborers and office workers of the enterprises are searching for inner resources and applying every effort to fulfill the additional commitments that have been taken. Greater order and standards are sensed at all enterprises than before. It is notable that that the great work pursued in recent years by the KWP CC has brought good results. From conversations with the leaders of the enterprises, team leaders, and technicians one can conclude that they know their business and are technically competent people.

Widespread housing construction is the most characteristic feature in cities and worker's settlements. This is especially notable in the city of Songrim [sic] where the workers of the Hwanghae metallurgical plant live. In the past two years new streets of comfortable multi-story buildings have risen here.

I noted further that along with a whole series of progressive, positive aspects in the work of the leaders of industrial enterprises I could not fail to direct attention to their increasingly insufficient level of economic knowledge in spite of the great work which the KWP is pursuing in this direction. In particular, the weakness of economic training is manifest in such very important issues as the lower of the prime cost of production and increasing labor productivity. I noted that this is not at all surprising since proficiency in economic knowledge requires constant and persistent work on the part of managerial personnel.

I stressed that at all plenums the CPSU CC has always pointed to the importance of studying economic issues by officials of all economic sectors of the Soviet Union, although they have considerably more practical work experience than, for example in the DPRK and have a higher level of technical and political knowledge. In connection with this I touched on the issue of increasing labor productivity and expressed the opinion that when solving this issue the Korean comrades are now encountering greater difficulties than before since an increase of production output at the present time should not occur from newly-introduced capabilities as in the period the first five-year plan was fulfilled in the DPRK, but chiefly from an increase of labor productivity at existing enterprises. I stressed that great attention is devoted to this issue in the Soviet Union and a careful account is kept of all the capabilities of increasing labor productivity on the basis of the experience of leading enterprises and teams. In spite of the transition to the seven-hour workday this year the output of industrial production will not only not decline but will grow from an increase of labor productivity.


Pak Seong-cheol said that the Worker's Party is pursuing much work to increase the level of economic knowledge of senior officials of all economic sectors by creating a broad network of correspondence and higher technical educational institutions, but there are still shortcomings in this matter which will be overcome with time.

Then, touching on the impressions about agriculture, I noted that here everywhere one can see the positive results of the measures of the KWP CC which have been implemented at the start of this year to strengthen the socialist principle of the payment of labor, the mechanization of agriculture, the improvement of the use of land, the increase of fertilizer production, the reorganization of the purchase system, and the improvement of Party and organization work in the countryside. In particular I said that during the visit to the Chzhoyan agricultural cooperative I noticed what high labor enthusiasm was caused among the peasants by a strengthening of the socialist principle of payment for labor, the introduction of the system of bonus pay.

Then I made some comments about the preparations to receive the Soviet delegation at various sites.

I dwelled on my own impressions from visiting the Kwanpho poultry farm. Noting that the choise of place for the location of the farm had been made very successfully, since there is a large lake nearby, rich in algae containing many nutrients, eagerly eaten by the ducks. This year workers of the farm are fulfilling the tasks set them during the creation of the farm and handing over to the state 2,000 tons of duck meat. The farm has a planted area of 310 jeongbo for feed which will be expanded to 1,000 jeongbo next year, which will allow the farm to produce more feed with their own efforts. At the present time the majority of the feed for the farm is supplied by the state, which exerts some binding influence on the development of the farm since the meat production plan might be underfulfilled in the event of incomplete supplies of feed by the state. I noted that in my view insufficient work is being done at the farm to improve the breed. As farm workers said, they have recently observed some improvement of the breed themselves.

Then I said that a new principle for payment on the basis of results of work, stimulating the material interest of the farm workers, is being introduced at the farm in accordance with a decision of the KWP CC. For example, each worker is set an average monthly wage of 60 won, but at the end of the year with the production of the final calculation for each worker (by team) an additional sum is calculated for issue if this team overfulfilled the plan or [if], on the contrary, a deduction is made from the wage if the plan was not fulfilled. Thus, the material interest of the farm workers in the results of their work is evident. However, this correct principle advanced in the KWP CC decision still needs additional specification since not one fundamental decision can encompass all the individual, particular cases. For example, the method of issuing monthly advances to farm workers of 20-45 won depending on the number of dependents in the family cannot fail to produce objection. Such a method of payment contradicts the socialist principle of payment for labor. Obviously the Ministry of Agriculture or some other competent bodies should think about drawing up detailed and specific instructions about the organization of payment for labor at the farm in which the issue of an advance on the dependent principle would be replaced by another form more in accordance with the socialist principle of payment for labor.

Pak Seong-cheol agreed with this, adding that the issue of advances on the dependent principle creates large disproportions and in the issue of a final calculation at the end of the year when small families immediately receive large sums of currency.

Then, switching to questions of the impending visit of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev to the DPRK, I said that as I had mentioned previously in a conversation with Kim Il Sung, the timeframe of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev's visit to the DPRK can be reduced in comparison with that planned by the Korean friends and although the Embassy has not received any instructions on this account at the present time it would be advisable to prepare, as Cde. Kim Il Sung pointed out, a program drafted on a calculation of seven or eight days.

Pak Seong-cheol passed [me] drafts of a reduced visit program drawn up by the DPRK MFA, stressing that they have still not been examined by Cde. Kim Il Sung.

For my part I expressed the following ideas which, in my opinion, could be taken into consideration in further work on the visit program.

Do not hold a city-wide rally in Pyongyang on the first day; instead, include a speech at the airfield on arrival.

Reduce the number of speeches and statements during the trip throughout the country. For example, one rally might be planned in Hamhung or Hungnam instead of two welcoming rallies.

Think about the issue of the need for a speech by Cde. N. S. Khrushchev at a session of the Supreme People's Assembly on questions of the reunification of Korea inasmuch as the complete support of the Soviet government for the proposals of the DPRK government concerning the peaceful reunification of the country was expressed in the speech by Cde. N. S. Khrushchev at the 15th General Assembly session, and inasmuch as in Cde. N. S. Khrushchev's speech at the city-wide rally in Pyongyang these issues should be touched on in one way or another. Then I stressed that I am expressing my personal ideas for consideration.

Pak Seong-cheol agreed with this, noting that holding a city-wide rally on the first day of the visit was planned by the MFA based on Cde. N. S. Khrushchev's speech on arrival at a city-wide rally could be heard by tens of thousands of workers, but no more than 10,000 people can be gathered at the airfield.

Then, at Moscow's instructions, I informed Pak Seong-cheol about the positions of the governments of a number of neutral countries on the Korean issue in connection with the discussion of this issue in the UN.

Pak Seong-cheol said, "[We] are very appreciative for the detailed information. It will give us great assistance in the study of this issue since we cannot find out the opinion of the governments and leaders ourselves.: it is not reflected in the press, and we do not have embassies in these countries.

The conversations of Soviet ambassadors in neutral countries on the Korean issue in accordance with instructions of the USSR MFA will cause the leaders of these countries to think more deeply about the Korean issue and determine their point of view more clearly".

Then Pak Seong-cheol, touching on the speech by Cde. N. S. Khrushchev, said, "Comprehensive and complete support to a great and important speech by Cde. Khrushchev reflecting the point of view of the CC of our Party was expressed in an editorial of the newspaper Rodong Sinmun on this issue. We have and cannot have other opinions on this issue.

In conversations our senior officials, in particular MFA officials, say that the deep and substantive speech by Cde. N. S. Khrushchev will find a response in the hearts of all the people on Earth since it affects the interests of all peoples of the world. This affects all the issues touched on in the speech: general and complete disarmament and granting independence to colonial peoples, and the role of the UN in the solution of international problems). The support of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev for the brave struggle of peoples for independence, against imperialism, like for example the people of Cuba, is an enormous inspiring force for our people.

Our people are even more inspired that the head of the Soviet government spoke from the rostrum of the UN for the first time in history in support of the proposals of the DPRK government about peaceful reunification, that the first-priority condition for the reunification is the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea.

Every Korean thinks that everything that Cde. N. S. Khrushchev said about the Korean issue was said in the words of the Koreans themselves".

In conclusion, in the name of the senior Soviet Party officials vacationing in the DPRK I passed the gratitude to the KWP CC for the excellently-organized vacation, attention, and concern.

For his part Pak Seong-cheol expressed gratitude for the high appreciation of the efforts of the Korean comrades to create the best conditions for the vacation of the Soviet guests and said that he will pass the statement of the vacationing officials to Cde. Kim Il Sung.

Then Pak Seong-cheol stated a request concerning all the issues touching on the preparations for the visit of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev to the DPRK, to turn to him and other MFA officials unofficially in a comradely fashion at any time, since the wishes and advice of the Embassy give the MFA great help in work.

I said that this is being done and will be done in the future, and thanked Pak Seong-cheol for the conversation.

[…]

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