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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 12, 1960

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 12-14 OCTOBER 1960

This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification

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    Ambassador Puzanov describes a visit to Gaesong (Kaesong).
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 12-14 October 1960," October 12, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF fond 0102, opis 16, delo 7, p.130-150. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119474
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USSR TOP SECRET

MFA stamp:   Copy Nº 1

FROM THE JOURNAL

OF A. M. PUZANOV

02214-gs

20-24 October 1960

17 October 1960

Nº 169

[handwritten in the left DVO [Far East Department"]

JOURNAL

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

from 8 [SIC] through 14 October 1960

Pyongyang

[…]

12-14 October 1960

I was in Kaesong, where I viewed the city sights, the new construction, the machinebuilding plant, the manufactured goods plant, the Pondon agricultural cooperative, and a museum. I had a conversation with O Je-Yeon [sic], chairman of the city Party committee (Kim Min-ho [sic], the chairman of the city people's committee, and Choe Se-yeon [sic], chairman of the city Korean-Soviet Friendship Society).

I was accompanied by Yun Tae-sin [sic], deputy chairman of the city people's committee and Choe Se-yeon when viewing the city, enterprises, and agricultural cooperative and to the Pakhen [sic] waterfall.

The impression from viewing the city is good. Construction of new multi-story buildings is being done. The central city area has been built with new buildings of an institute, a city Party committee, the branch of the OKSD [Korean-Soviet Friendship Society], and others. The streets are kept clean and are pretty with flowers. Private homes which remained during the war occupying a large part of the city (the Americans almost did not destroy Kaesong inasmuch before the war it was part of South Korea), and are kept as a monument of Korean architecture.

The cemetery of Korean warriors and the cemetery of Chinese People's Volunteers who died in battles for the DPRK are kept in good condition.

The local museum is poor in exhibits. Museum officials explain this by the fact that the majority of exhibits, especially the valuable ones, were taken from the museum by the Americans. The memorial around the museum erected in the 12th century in honor of the victory over foreign invaders calls attention to itself. On top of this monument is written, "The Motherland and the People Demand Peace".

The Kaesong Metallurgical Plant. Director Choe Sin-bong [sic] and Chairman of the Party Committee Kwon Tae-gyon [sic] said that the plant was created in 1951 based on a small locksmith's workshop. Then there were four machine tools of Japanese manufacture. At the present time it has been increased to 40 tools, of which 38 were made at the plant with its own resources. Right now 500 people work at the plant. The plant produces various products, machines for agriculture: silage cutters, threshers, fodder choppers, and repairs equipment sent from agricultural cooperatives, steam boilers, and wagons. At the present time the plant is starting to produce 30 butter presses to prepare soybean oil, which are sent to the countryside. Recently the plant produced a new thresher for corn and soybeans with a productivity of three tons per hour. The butter press and the thresher were designed in the plant's design bureau.

The plant's supply with materials and the financing are done through the city economic committee inasmuch as the plant is subordinate to the city.

The annual plan for 1960 is 1,166,00 won in monetary terms. The annual plan is expected to be fulfilled in November. This year it is expected to get a profit of 60,000 won.

The average wage at the plant is 36 won per month. There are 96 women among the workers. Many young people who have finished secondary school and junior high school work at the plant. The labor payment has been made. The average worker skill level is four or five. The plant has a subsidiary farm which supplies the workers and their family members with vegetables.

The plant has a foundry with two furnaces with a total productivity of 11 tons per day. Metal collected in the region of the city (80%) and briquettes of coal dust with clay (20%) serve as the raw material, replacing coke. The production of briquettes was organized at the suggestion of the plant workers.

in the course of fulfilling the decisions of the KWP CC August 1960 Plenum to extend technical innovations and train technical personnel the plant's Party organization, which numbers 113 people, acted as the initiator in the further strengthening of the "from a machine, a machine" movement, the creation of new machines for agriculture with their own efforts (the thresher for corn and soybeans, the butter press), the shift of all machine tools to individual electrical power instead of transmission, and the mechanization of some labor-intensive processes.

Beginning with this September a two-year higher technical school was created at the plant which will train specialists with the classification of technicians. At the present time the plant has two engineers and eight technicians. Right now 54 plant workers and 30 workers from other enterprises are studying at the school in the evening. The school's program is typical, taking specific conditions and the plant's requirements into account. The plant's management and the city people's committee are helping the students. The instructional staff of the school is made up of engineering and technical workers of the plant (the plant director is also the director of the school), and also instructors of educational institutions of the city of Kaesong. Three people are studying at higher educational institutions by correspondence, the Kim Chak Pyongyang Polytechnic Institute and others, and 10 people at the newly-organized Communist Institute.

The following themes are being studied in the Party education network at the plant right now: Kim Il Sung's report about the 15th anniversary of the liberation of Korea and the decisions of the KWP CC August Plenum. Political lessons are held once a week. There is a circle to study revolutionary traditions. On Saturdays there are lessons of a group of senior officials which include seven people, including the director and chairman of the Party committee of the plant.

The plant makes a good impression. One feels that the plant workers are displaying initiative in building new machines, in the production of equipment for their needs, and in searching for new inner capabilities to further expand production. It is clean on the grounds and in the shops. A specific plan has been drawn up to realize the decisions of the KWP CC August Plenum.

In my opinion, the scattered nature of the plant in the production of various machines and equipment ought to be noted as a serious shortcoming.

The Kaesong Ready-Made Clothing Plant. Director Ri Ban Yeon [sic] said that the plant was created in 1957 at the order of Cde. Kim Il Sung based on a sewing cooperative numbering 2,000 people. The enterprise is subordinate to the Committee for Light Industry. State assignments are fulfilled systematically. The 1960 plan is expected to be fulfilled ahead of time. Eighty-three percent of the workers of the plant are women. Nine hundred participate in the "Chollima brigades" movement. The annual target of the plant is: 800,000 pairs of padded clothing (with pants) and 400,000 pairs of industrial clothing. The prime cost of one part of padded clothing is 13 won 55 chon. The state plant to reduce the prime cost is 0.5%. The plant expects to overfulfill this plan, reducing the prime cost by 0.7%.

Beginning with this October a two-year technical school was created at the plant at which workers with a primary education will study. Lessons will be conducted during the day and evening. At the present time 400 people are enrolled in the school. Nine plant workers are studying at higher educational institutions by correspondence and 16 (nine of them women) are studying in the Communist Institute.

After the KWP CC August Plenum some work in cutting and sewing has been mechanized.

[Translator's note: one page of the journal is missing at this point]

The Pondon [sic] agricultural cooperative of Panmun [sic] District (Rim Geun-hak [sic] is chairman of the board).

The cooperative was formed of 11 farms in 1954. In 1958 it was expanded to ri scale. There are 504 households in the cooperative and 1,041 members fit for work. The area planted for rice is 330 jeongbo, for upland crops, 200 jeongbo, for fruits (chiefly pears and plums), 35 jeongbo, of which nine jeongbo are with fruit-bearing trees, and 10 jeongbo for ginseng for fruit-bearing plants and six jeongbo for seedlings.

The cooperative has 200 head of cattle, including 100 work stock, 20 dairy (Korean), and 80 calves. There are 602 pigs, including 130 sows. There are also 600 rabbits, 500 chickens, and 400 ducks.

In 1960 a household had an average of 2.5 tons of grain and 500 won in money against 1.8 tons of grain and 190 won distributed in 1959. The increase of peasant income this year, said the chairman, was achieved thanks to an increase of political and labor enthusiasm as a result of putting the "Chkhonsanri [sic] experiment" into effect and concentrating all efforts of the cooperative on agricultural work.

Thanks to the cancellation of liability for the delivery of grain and state loans in accordance with Cabinet of Ministers decree Nº 47 the cooperative was released from payment of 140,700 won as a whole, that is, an average of 280 won per household.

A separate team of 60 people handles the cultivation of ginseng in the cooperative. Preliminary contracts have been concluded with the state concerning the deliveries of ginseng. The state purchase price for ginseng is 30 won per kilogram of unripe [syroy] root dug up after five-year cultivation. The ginseng harvest is an average of 3.5-4 tons per jeongbo.

xxx

In conversation with Kaesong city Party Committee chairman O Che-yeon [sic] and people's committee chairman Kim Min-ho I talked about my impressions from visiting the industrial enterprises and agricultural cooperatives. Noting that in my view the machinebuilding plant should have a more specialized nature since the production of sharply varies products retards an increase of quality and the reduction of prime cost, and also the increase of the workers' skills.

O Che-yeon and Min-ho expressed gratitude for the high appreciation of their efforts to fulfill Party policy and agreed that there are still many shortcomings in the area of industrial management which are explained to a great degree by a lack of experience in this field.

They said that on average the distribution by region in agricultural cooperatives this year was 2.3 tons of grain and 220 won against 1.6 tons and 140 won [last year].

The supply of the population with vegetables this year was satisfactory.

In connection with the publication in the press of the report about the postponement of the date of arrival of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev in the DPRK I spoke about the reasons for the postponement. O Che-yeon and Min-ho said that they were saddened, having read the report about the postponement of the visit by Cde. Khrushchev. But now no questions arise after the explanation.

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

Five copies sent re

1 - Cde. A. A. Gromyko

2 - Cde. Yu. V. Andropov

3 - Cde. V. I. Tugarinov

4 - UVPI MID SSSR

5 - to file

17 October 1960

Nº 489