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June 5, 1953

Report from a Conference Organized by the Government of the DPRK on the Issue of Implementing the Plan of Reconstruction for Pyongyang

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

Embassy of the Pyongyang, 5 June 1953

Polish Republic

in Korea Secret!


No. 2421/40/53/TJN [tajne—secret]



from a conference organized by the Government of the DPRK on the issue of implementing the plan of reconstruction for Pyongyang.


On the second of June 1953, a conference devoted to presenting and discussing the plan for reconstructing Pyongyang. The V[ice]-Premier of the government, Choe Chang-ik [Choe Chang Ik], chaired the conference, Minister of Construction Kim Seong-hwa [Kim Song Hwa] gave an overview of the basics of the plan, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs V[ice]-Minister Ri Dong-geun [Ri Tong Gun] was also present at the conference because participating in the conference was the diplomatic corps accredited to Pyongyang, led by heads of missions.


After reviewing the history of the city’s development, which took into account the situation in the period of the Japanese occupation, the Minister of Construction summarized the basic elements of the plan. In 1952 work began in the sphere of preparing plans for the reconstruction of the city on the basis of the experiences of the Soviet Union and countries of people’s democracy, with a particular focus on the construction of Stalingrad and Warsaw. Thanks to the strenuous assistance of Soviet specialists, the plan has been developed definitively and now, after its approval by the government, will be realized in the nearest future.


The area of the newly built Pyongyang will encompass 1,500 ha., the surface of the city will amount to 25 km. sq. According to the basics of the plan, the full reconstruction of the city will be implemented over the course of 8 years.


In the final phase of construction, Pyongyang will accommodate 600,000 inhabitants (prior to the outbreak of the war Pyongyang had 450,000 inhabitants, currently 150,000). The plan’s architectural premises take into account the needs of the population in the broadest sense and are an expression of modern design based on the premises of socialist realism.


The plan foresees a major afforestation of the city, the creation of parks and places of rest on Moranbong Mountain and the nearby islands on Daedong River.


The creation of an industrial area is being planned in the southern part of the city; it will concentrate, as an initial premise, factories of the metallurgical and textile industries.


In the center of the city, which includes the buildings of state institutions, will be built Kim Il Sung square and his monument to honor the memorable services of the leader of the Korean nation in the struggle against American imperialism. At the same time as Kim Il Sung square, a beautiful Stalin Avenue will be built, stretching for 2,300 m. and 40-45 m. wide. On both sides of Stalin Avenue, 4- and 5-storey buildings will be erected. The avenue will end in Opera Square with the building of the Opera, which will be beautiful in its architectural design, and at the intersection of the Avenue and the Square a monumental statue of Stalin will be placed. From the center in the south direction, Mao Zedong Avenue will be built. It will be 2,000 m. long and 35 m. wide, and 3- and 4-storey buildings will be placed on both of its sides. At the outlet of the Avenue, on the northern side, a sports stadium will be built. On its southern side, the Avenue will end in Mao Zedong Square and a monument to him. 35% of the public and residential houses will be 3- and 5-storey high.


The built-up area will encompass 20-30% of the overall surface, as opposed to 80% in the pre-war period.


After the discussion and remarks by those present, the leaders of the conference, thanking for the assistance given to Korea by the countries of the peace camp, appealed for further support for the Korean nation, which has suffered such heavy losses in the period of the bestial imperialist attack. The appeal from the leaders of the government to the countries of the peace camp was not concrete, since the needs of the DPRK in the area of means of production, industrial and housing construction are so great that every form of assistance will be received with understandable satisfaction.


The heads of the diplomatic missions, including the head of the Polish mission Stanis?aw Kiryluk, stressed that the Korean nation’s struggle for freedom concerns all nations that love freedom and peace, and the reconstruction of the heroic city of Pyongyang is a political concern, the duty of all fraternal countries. Those assembled declared that they will ask their governments to make the help for the reconstruction of Pyongyang concrete. At the same time, the leaders of the conference appealed to the representatives of the friendly countries to realize quickly the construction of the seats of Embassies in Pyongyang, for which land has already been prepared. At the end of the conference, the main designer, a Soviet architect, asked for any potential further critical remarks to accompany the plan after it is studied thoroughly.


As I relay this news to the state authorities, I am asking them to take a stand on making the assistance of the People’s Republic of Poland to the reconstruction of Pyongyang concrete and to send me instructions and guidelines in this matter.


Kiryluk St.


Embassy of the PRL [People’s Republic of Poland] in Korea


3 copies made


A Polish Embassy report detailing reconstruction plans for Pyongyang.


Document Information


Polish Foreign Ministry Archive. Obtained for NKIDP by Jakub Poprocki and translated for NKIDP by Maya Latynski.


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