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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 25, 1961

TELEGRAM FROM THE HUNGARIAN EMBASSY IN PYONGYANG, 'THE KOREAN WORKERS’ PARTY’S 4TH CONGRESS'

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    A report on the agenda of the congress, including seven year plan to develop economy and election of the party's leading organs.
    "Telegram from the Hungarian Embassy in Pyongyang, 'The Korean Workers’ Party’s 4th Congress'," September 25, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MNL OL XIX-J-1-j Korea 27a-003632/1961. Obtained by North Korean Materials Archive, IFES, Kyungnam University, and translated by Imre Májer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/123789
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EMBASSY OF THE HUNGARIAN PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC
223/1961
Presenter: Fendler Károly

TOP SECRET!
Pyongyang, 1961 September 25
Produced in 2 copies for:
-   Central (2 copies)
-   Embassy (1 copy)

Subject: The Korean Worker’s Party’s 4th Congress

I will not discuss the preparations of the congress, or the grandiose congressional race movement encompassing the entire working Korean nation in this report. I am merely trying to provide brief information about the congress itself.

The lower organs of the Korean Worker’s Party elected 1160 delegates to the congress based on the principle of 1 delegate after 1000 party members.

There were many attendants in the congress room (new opera house). Besides the delegates of the 32 sister parties, the foreign representative leaders of the Korean diplomatic missions, state and party officials, journalists, press reporters of friendly countries, etc. were present. Every seat was taken in the room where more than 2000 people can be seated.

The agenda of the congress was the following:

1)  Report of the Central Committee, presenter: Comrade Kim Il Sung.
2)  Report of the Central Control Committee, presenter: Comrade Kim Gae-rin.
3)  The seven-year plan to develop economy, presenter: Kim Il.
4)  Election of the party’s leading organs.

The Korean Worker’s Party’s 4th Congress was opened on September 11 by Comrade Choe Yong-geon. The congress sessions were held for 8 consecutive days, and it was closed on September 13 afternoon by Comrade Choe Yong-geon again after the closing speech of Comrade Kim Il Sung.

The 6-hour long report of Comrade Kim Il Sung was accompanied by recurring applause from the delegates, expressing their full agreement with the party’s political direction.

More than 5 years have passed since the Korean Worker’s Party’s 3rd Congress, and as Comrade Kim Il Sung said in his report: The Korean nation accomplished its grand historical task in North Korea, completed the socialist transformation of the country in cities and towns as well, and thus laid the foundation of socialism. The Korean working people have achieved great successes in developing industry, agriculture, culture, and the entire economy. The five-year plan was completed in only two and a half years; they have invested more than 2 billion won for developing economy, and for cultural building. During the last plan period, industrial production increased with yearly 36 percent. After the socialist transformation of agriculture, their main objective was to increase the irrigated fields. Currently from the available 2 million jeongbo (1 jeongbo = 0.98 hectares) arable land, 800 000 jeongbo is irrigated. A compulsory 7-grade school system was introduced in 1958, and currently they are preparing to introduce a compulsory 9-grade system. Currently 97,000 students are studying in the 78 universities and colleges of the country. From 1956 until 1960 the national income increased 2.1-fold.

The majority of the speakers particularly emphasized the unity of the party, which had purified itself from elements that are revisionist, dogmatic, or do not belong to the party. The Korean Worker’s Party has never been as consolidated and unified as today. The party has tight connections with masses outside of the party. The party has a huge member count with 1 million 311 thousand 563 members and candidate members. It controls the activities of the whole Korean working nation through its party organizations that reach into every residential area of the country. The results that they have produced in the last 5 years are eloquently proving that the entire Korean people line up tightly around its party.

A large portion of the speeches dealt with the education of the people in the communist spirit. A great driving force in creating the new socialist man is the so-called Chollima Movement. This is roughly equivalent to our socialist work brigade, but it is more than that. There are Chollima brigades in every plant, cooperative, office, etc. of the country. With the help of these, they are motivating the workers to do a better job, and for a large-scale production boost. Among others, Comrade Kil Hwak-sil has spoken out on the congress, colleague of the Pyongyang Textile Factory, and the winner of three Chollima awards. She mentioned three working brigades that she elevated to the Chollima standards. In some plants, 70-80% of the workers are working according to the Chollima methods. Comrade Kim Il Sung said the following about the Chollima Movement in his report:

“And thus the Chollima Movement has become the grand movement of millions of workers that triumphed over everything that is outdated in economic, cultural, ideological, and moral life. It constantly creates something new and accelerates our social development in an unprecedented way. This is our main direction in building socialism in our party.” (Page 37 in the Report)

As a result of the construction of socialism, the numbers of the working class have increased. The workers and employees currently make up 52% of the residents of the country. As the report states, the working class, as the holder of the power, was leading the whole nation with an unwavering determination on the path of the socialist building and completed its grand revolutionary objective: eradicated the exploitative society.

The development achieved in the northern part of Korea has a great effect on the South Korean people living under the occupation of American imperialism. Just as Comrade Kim Il Sung did in his report, most of the speakers mentioned this issue as well. All of them demanded the withdrawal of the American imperialist troops from South Korea and the reunification of the country as soon as possible. The congress addressed the South Korean situation and the issue of reunification in a separate decree.

Comrade Kim Il Sung only broadly outlined the seven-year plan for developing the country. Comrade Kim Il was the one who gave detailed information about it. The main objective of the seven-year plan is to further develop the base of the country’s industry, greatly raising the people’s standard of living, further fortifying the socialist society, and continue the fight for the peaceful unification of the country. The party considers its basic task to continue accelerating its development in heavy industry, and at the same time wants to achieve the development of light industry, agriculture, culture, and science. According to the seven-year plan, the heavy industry will increase 3.2-fold, and the light industry 3.1-fold. The total investment is estimated to be 7 billion won. If we add the expenditures of the cooperatives that they have to finance from their own resources, then the investment estimate becomes 8.8 billion won.

The industrial growth is set to be 18% a year. The major control numbers of the seven-year plan:

Steel production      2.2 – 2.5 million tons (1961 approx. 790 000 tons)

Cast iron             2.2 – 2.5 million tons (1961 approx. 960 000 tons)

Electric power        16 – 17 billion kilowatt-hours (1961 approx. 9.7 billion kilowatt-hours)

Coal                  23 – 25 million tons (1961 approx. 12 million tons)

The 1961 numbers were taken from Kim Il Sung’s report.

They wish to increase the agricultural crop yield 2.4-fold during the seven-year plan. The plan prescribes that new areas of 1 million jeongbo have to be converted to arable fields. They have great plans for mechanizing agriculture as well. At the end of the plan, there will be 3.2 tractors for every 100 jeongbo of arable land. They wish to increase the national income 2.7-fold in those seven years. Culture and science will also develop greatly. Besides factories, they will pay a lot of attention to create middle and higher education institutes, and to increase the number of students in evening and correspondence courses. The salary of working fathers will more than double throughout the plan.

Talking about the foreign relations of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in his report Comrade Kim Il Sung emphasized the leading power of the Soviet Union, the great achievements of the Soviet science and engineering, and the huge effort that the Soviet government is making to ensure peace. He primarily highlighted the importance of the assistance that the Soviet Union and China gave to Korea, but also listed the other socialist countries as well whose support largely contributed in restoring the economy after the war, and laying the foundations of a socialist industry. Many congress speakers also stressed the assistance that the socialist countries provided to Korea.

The party delegations of the socialist countries were received with a warm welcome. The Korean leader comrades, led by Kim Il Sung, have greeted personally all of the delegates at the airport and the railway station. On the second day of the congress, Comrade Kozlov, the leader of the Soviet party delegation held his speech, then the Chinese delegation leader as well. The other delegations were given a chance to speak on the third day of the congress in the order of the Korean alphabet.

The Korean Worker’s Party’s 4th Congress is a big historical event for the Korean workers in building socialism, and in the ongoing fight for reunification. The unity of the party and the whole Korean nation, and the limitless trust in the leadership is a guarantee that the objectives marked in the seven-year plan will be fulfilled.

Kovács József
Ambassador

Attachments:
Decree of the 4th Congress
Control numbers of the seven-year plan
Manifesto for peaceful reunification
The speech of Comrade Kim Il Sung
The speech of Comrade Kim Il
The record of Comrade Fendler on the changes of the Korean Worker’s Party Central Committee