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August 18, 1960

The 'Chollima' Movement of Accelerate the Development of Socialism in the DPRK

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

[partly legible handwritten

endorsement: "[[10]] October

V. [[illegible surname]"

SECRET Copy Nº 1

18 September 1960

[Translator's note:

"October" is handwritten

above the typed

word "September";

however the date at

the end of the document is


Nº 795/dv




(a brief memo)


The "Chollima" movement appeared in the autumn of 1958 in response to a call by the Korean Worker's Party CC to accelerate the tempo of socialist development.


Considering that the DPRK economy was still not developing rapidly enough, although the average annual growth of industrial production in the country since the war was 43%, at the September 1958 plenum the KWP CC adopted a special letter (the friends call it the "red letter") which called upon Party members and all workers to complete the fulfillment of the five-year plan (1957-1961) ahead of schedule. The discussion of this letter in primary Party organizations led to the wide-scale launching of a creative initiative and innovation, and to a great labor upsurge in all sectors of the economy which took the form of a nationwide movement to accelerate the tempo of socialist development called "Chollima". DPRK workers assumed increased commitments to raise production output and shorten the time periods to meet the targets of the five-year plan. "Chollima brigades", a higher form of competition to increase production, began to be organized at enterprises, construction sites, and in agricultural cooperatives. In the DPRK they compare them with the '"Communist labor" brigades in the USSR.


On the basis of the increased commitments of the workers, the friends established a plan for 1959 for a gross output of production 2.1 times greater than the actual production in 1958; the grain harvest was planned to be 5.177 million tons (against the actual harvest of 3.43 million tons in 1958).


* Chollima is a legendary winged horse which travels 1,000 ri in a day (one ri = 400 meters).


Such a sharp increase of the rate of growth in one year was not economically justified and was undoubtedly the result of an imitation of the "Great Leap" in China.


A great overextension in the work of manual laborers, office workers, and students is evident in the DPRK, whose work day is often not 8, but 10-12 hours, frequently including days off. The KWP CC was forced to reduced the planned targets several times during the year, and essentially the friends worked without a plan in 1959. The volume of industrial production increased by 53% in 1959, but not double as was initially envisioned by the plan; the grain harvest was just 3.4 million tons. And although the friends fulfilled the five-year plan by the level of industrial production in 2.5 years, however the tasks of the five-year plan for the majority of the most important kinds of products remained unfulfilled.


The friends have reduced the strain somewhat in the current year. The increase of industrial production for 1960 is set at a rate of 12.5%. The gross industrial output grew by 12% in the first half of 1960 compared to the same period last year.


In August of this year a Republic Conference of the Top Production Workers of "Chollima Brigades" was held in Pyongyang which summed up the results of the competition and called for the further expansion of the "Chollima" movement in all sectors of the economy: in industry, agriculture, and trade, and also in the fields of education, health, culture, and art.







Nº 1666-dv

[1]9 September 1960




Samsonov discusses the "Chollima" movement that is launched to accelerate the economic development in the DPRK.


Document Information


AVPRF fond 0102, opis 16, papka 87, delo 29. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg.


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ROK Ministry of Unification and Leon Levy Foundation