The ambassadors of the Soviet Union and East Germany in North Korea discuss Kim Il Sung's visits to China and the Soviet Union, the personality cult in North Korea, the economic situation in North Korea, and North Korea's policy towards South Korea.
August 24, 1960
Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 24 August 1960
This document was made possible with support from ROK Ministry of Unification
[Stamp: Far East Department
23 September 1960]
USSR EMBASSY IN THE DPRK TOP SECRET
Nº 153 Copy Nº 3
19 September 1960
[Handwritten: to Cde. [[Samsonov]
date off the page 60]
of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for the period 24 August through 9 September 1960
24 August 1960
In the evening I was at the Korean Workers Party Central Committee together with a delegation of the Soviet-Korean Friendship Society. The delegation was received by Cde. Kim Il Sung. Deputy Chairman of the KWP CC Cdes. Pak Jeong-ae [Pak Jong Ae] and Kim Chang-man [Kim Chang Man] took part in the conversation which was held. The delegation was escorted by Cde. Ri Gi-yeong [Ri Ki Yong], Chairman of the Korean-Soviet [SIC] Friendship Society.
Having asked about the health of the members of the Soviet delegation, Kim Il Sung expressed interest in their impressions of what they had seen in the DPRK and whether they were not very overburdened by the delegation's visit plan.
P. A. Antokhin, Second Secretary of the CPSU Primorsky Kray Committee and head of the delegation, expressing gratitude for the opportunity afforded the delegation to take part in the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the liberation of Korea by the Soviet Army, and to familiarize itself with the progress of socialist construction in the DPRK, the lives of Korean workers, and the country's sights, said that the plan had been well drawn up, taking the delegation's wishes into consideration.
Then, introducing the members of the delegation, P. A. Antokhin said that the delegation, like all Soviet people, was well-informed of the situation in the DPRK, the progress of socialist construction in the country, and the lives of the workers. However, what the delegation had seen considerably exceeds the perception of the DPRK which had already been formed. A great impression had been made on the delegation by the large industrial enterprises equipped with modern machines and tools, and the procedure and organization of the work at them. The delegation head then listed the enterprises which they had visited. The delegation directed attention to the extent of the construction all over the country, especially in Pyongyang. It is true, said P. A. Antokhin, that advanced methods are still not being used everywhere in construction. For example, whereas in Pyongyang the modular method is used almost everywhere in housing construction, in the provinces houses are built brick-by-brick. But, as is well known, with about the same expenditure of construction materials while using another method at the same time, in the first case the expenditure of labor is reduced by more than half. The cost of building one square meter of housing is also thereby considerably reduced. P. A. Antokhin stressed that at the CPSU CC Plenum last July N. S. Khrushchev noted the progressive nature of the modern method of construction by assembling houses from ready-made blocks and panels (this was said on the Embassy's recommendation).
An especially great impression was left on delegation members by the people, the manual laborers and office workers of production enterprises, their enthusiasm, and zest for labor.
According to the plan, said P. A. Antokhin, the delegation is to visit an agricultural cooperative. But they have already noted for themselves the good condition of the crops and the maintenance of the fields in exemplary order. The full use of all available land plots stands out, including small patches of land, boundary paths, and roadsides set aside for crops.
The delegation then directed attention to the fact that manual labor is still used to a considerable degree in the countryside. The results of the last August's KWP CC Plenum, which devoted primary attention to the mechanization of agriculture, allows the conclusion to be drawn that this very important problem of socialist construction will be successfully accomplished by the Korean people.
P. A. Antokhin noted that the delegation had formed a very good impression about the morale of the workers of the DPRK and their vigor in achieving successes on the path of socialist construction. The workers of the DPRK have been well informed of the role of the Soviet Union in the liberation of Korea from the Japanese colonizers and the moral support and material aid which the USSR has given and is giving to the DPRK, and greatly appreciate it.
P. A. Antokhin also noted the important role of the Korean-Soviet Friendship Society headed by a great friend of the Soviet Union, the writer Ri Gi-yeong, in familiarizing the Korean workers with the achievements of the Soviet Union.
On return home, stressed P. A. Antokhin, we will also use all available resources we have to tell the Soviet people about the successes of the Korean people, their fraternal feelings toward the Soviet peoples, and to talk about the personal impressions from what they have seen in the DPRK.
Kim Il Sung, thanking the delegation members for the high appreciation expressed for the work of the Korean people, noted that they, the Korean friends of the Soviet people, always need and profitably listen to the opinion of Soviet people who have visited the DPRK, and to hear their impressions from what they have seen. It is especially useful to hear the comments about the shortcomings, for the elimination of which they always take vigorous measures. In this respect they are always glad to hear the opinion of Soviet people who like real friends do not play down the shortcomings they have seen but openly point to them in a comradely manner.
Kim Il Sung then gave a very high opinion of the role of the Soviet Union and the Soviet people in the lives of Korean workers.
Having liberated Korean from the colonizers, said Kim Il Sung, the Soviet people helped in organizing a new life in the country. During the war which the American imperialists and the Syngman Rhee clique unleashed the Soviet people gave fraternal aid in winning victory in a fierce struggle. During the postwar rebuilding and construction the Soviet people gave us enormous material aid free of charge, immediately allocating one billion rubles.
The war left us in ruins. Now we have excellent modern enterprises built with the aid of the Soviet people and the peoples of the other fraternal countries. We have rebuilt Pyongyang and are also building the other cities. Whereas at the end of the war Pyongyang only had 50,000 residents left who lived in caves and huts, now up to 800,000 people live in Pyongyang, and they are occupying new modern buildings.
We did not have our own national cadre of specialists. Even during the war the Party solved the problems of training cadre. And we received invaluable aid from the Soviet Union in this matter. Our people studied in the USSR, and studied everything advanced and progressive. Soviet specialists came to us who gave all [their] efforts to the matter entrusted to them, ignoring the difficulties. With the aid of the Soviet people and Soviet specialists we have rebuilt and constructed such large enterprises as the [Supung] Hydroelectric Station, the Kim [Chaek] Metallurgical Plant, the Madong Cement Plant, the Pyongyang Textile Mill, and many others.
Your Soviet people and specialists have inspired our workers to feats of labor with selfless work. The honesty, conscientiousness, and responsibility for what was entrusted [to them], this is what characterizes the Soviet people.
Our people not only consider the Soviet people their liberator, but are always full of confidence that at a difficult moment the Soviet people will extend us a fraternal hand and support us. Therefore our people regard the Soviet brothers with great love and respect.
Right now our workers are building a socialist society at a high tempo. The people are firmly convinced that they will achieve victory in this way, and will achieve it with the aid of the Soviet people, who continue to give us enormous material aid. Recently by a decision of the Soviet government we were released from repaying loans [kredity] of 760,000,000 rubles given us and loans of about 140,000,000 rubles were deferred.
Essentially, this is new aid of almost 900,000,000 rubles free of charge. Such a magnanimous decision even more inspires us to new feats of labor. Kim Il Sung noted that they have still not informed the population about this decision of the Soviet government. They are thinking of stressing this factor in a communiqué during the visit to the DRPK by Cde. N. S. Khrushchev at the beginning of this October.
Kim Il Sung noted further that the report of the upcoming visit to the DPRK by Cde. N. S. Khrushchev, the First Secretary of the CPSU CC and the head of the Soviet government, was greeted by all the Korean people with enormous enthusiasm. This happy news will provide new strength in the struggle to build new, rich, and happy lives.
Kim Il Sung said that the workers of the DPRK still have much to do for creating an economic basis for the peaceful unification of the motherland. The standard of living in the DPRK is already higher than in South Korea. But it should be considerably higher to serve as a vivid indicator of the path along which the entire Korean people should travel. Our people see the prospect of an even richer life and therefore work with great enthusiasm.
We still have much to do, said Kim Il Sung. The results of the past show that we are on the right path. Now guests are coming to us from various countries. It is interesting to note that Japanese visiting the DPRK speak of the great difference in the various areas of life in the DPRK and South Korea. They note that the standard of living is higher in the DPRK than in the South. But we understand very well that we need to strive for more. Regardless of the difficulties we are fully determined to achieve the goal that has been set. Confidence in victory inspires us with the awareness that next to us is the powerful socialist camp headed by the Soviet Union which will always extend a fraternal hand of aid at a difficult moment. Right now in the first two or three years of the seven-year plan we are planning to mainly complete the mechanization of agriculture and direct efforts at the development of light industry and sectors of heavy industry which supply light industry with raw material.
Kim Il Sung then said that at the present time the drafting of the Seven-Year Plan is being done. This draft has already to be discussed at enterprises. The draft will be discussed at the upcoming KWP CC November-December Plenum. After careful comprehensive national discussion it will be considered at the next IV Workers Party Congress in 1961. Fulfillment of the seven-year plan will begin with the following year. Confidence in its fulfillment will be obtained in practical experience and then it will be officially made law at a session of the Supreme National Assembly.
Preliminary drafts allow [us] to judge the possibility of the successful accomplishment of the seven-year plan. In this event one can decidedly say the DPRK will be turned into an industrial country.
Kim Il Sung added that these issues have been discussed in Moscow with Cde. N. S. Khrushchev, who expressed agreement with giving the necessary aid and approved the KWP policy in the matter of increasing the standard of living of the population, stressing that only this way can peaceful economic competition with capitalism win.
Kim Il Sung said that we are convinced of the successful accomplishment of the tasks which are being proposed. A guarantee of this is the indestructible fraternal friendship between the peoples of Korea and the Soviet Union and the moral and political unity of the Korean people, who strongly support all the measures of the Workers Party and government of the republic. Right now we are faced with the task of organizing the working masses and the fulfillment of the new tasks of the seven-year plan.
In conclusion Kim Il Sung, thanked the members of the delegation for the comradely frank conversation, and said that at first it had been planned to hold this conversation at the conclusion of the planned visit of the Soviet delegation, but in connection with the upcoming departure of Pak Jeong-ae for the DRV and his [own] departure for the provinces they held the conversation today.
The conversation was conducted frankly for two hours in an friendly atmosphere. The conversation was interpreted by DPRK MFA official Choe Won-sik [Choe Won Sik].
The Soviet Ambassador describes an August 24 meeting between a delegation of the Soviet-Korean Friendship Society and Kim Il Sung.
- Korea (North)--Foreign economic relations
- Korean reunification question (1945- )
- Korea (North)--Foreign relations--Soviet Union
- China--Foreign relations--Korea (North)
- Korea (North)--Economic conditions
- Korea (North)--Foreign economic relations--Soviet Union
- Korea (North)--Foreign relations--Korea (South)
- China--Foreign economic relations--Korea (North)
- Korea (North)--Economic policy
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