North Korea Today No. 254

[Weekely Newsletter] No.254 November 2008

[Hot Topics]
The General Market to Be Converted to a Farmer’s Market Next Year
“How Are We Supposed to Survive If General Markets Disappear?”

[Food] Residents of Pyongsung City Responds to Patriotic Rice Practice: “Are You Going to Starve Us to Death?”

After the Threshing Season, an Increase in Illegal Border Crossing
Nationwide Orders to Prevent Fires

Residents Complain About the Change from “General Markets to Farmers’ Markets
With the Ban of Rice Sales in Markets, People say, “Is the Amount of Rice Coming from the Government enough?”

Warnings of Children Kidnappings in National Border Area
Parent Do Not Want To Send Their Children to School Because of Additional

An Old Man in His 70s Had a Stroke after Falling Victim to Fraud
“Illegal Train Tickets Should Be Banned”
At Chungjin Train Station, Passengers Complain When Their Tickets Are Refused
"One beats the bush and another catches the birds"

Hoeryong City Lost Grain Due To a Fire at the Threshing Floor
Workers from the Local Grain Policy Enterprise Stealing the Army Provisions

We should learn a lesson from failed resumption of the distribution system in 2005

[Planning a Series] Reading North Korea 2008 Through “North Korea’s Nationwide Report”
In North Korea 2008, What Was Accomplished and What Was Not?
Part 2 Executive Plan on New Year’s Editorial 2008

[Hot Topics]
The General Market to Be Converted to a Farmer’s Market Next Year
On November 6 of last year, Directive No. 61 issued by the Ministry of Commerce of the North Korean Cabinet and Directive No. 23 by the Province were distributed in every city and county in the country. The main point of the directives was to inform, “Starting January, all the markets in the country are to be transformed into farmer’s markets.” One official in Pyongyang said, “Next year, starting with Pyongyang, all the markets in the country will become ‘1st-day markets (1일장)’. Markets will be allowed to form on the 1st, 11th, and the 21st of each month and they will be called ‘1st-day markets’.” He added that “Directives No. 61 and No. 23 highlight that food will only be sold at local grain policy enterprises (양정사업소) and manufactured goods will be exclusively sold in state-run stores.”

“How Are We Supposed to Survive If General Markets Disappear?”
Daehongdan County in Ryanggang Province has operated markets from 4 o’clock in the afternoon between mid-October and early November. People subsist daily on industrial scraps and daily necessities sold in the little country villages. The market situation was seemingly getting better and stabilizing as operating hours were extended since the first harvest on November 5th. Amidst this progress, the government announced the directive to transform the general market to a farmer’s market coming next year, causing the people to raise their voices in dissent. A garment seller Song Jung-Min (45) said, “I can hardly survive even now. How do you expect me to survive if I can sell my goods only a couple of times a month? How do you expect us to survive by selling all of the manufactured and used goods in the state-owned stores and only have agricultural products to sell in the markets?”

[Food] Residents of Pyongsung City Responds to Patriotic Rice Practice: “Are You Going to Starve Us to Death?”
Pyongsung City, traditionally at the forefront of the Patriotic Rice practice, is speeding up collection efforts with the distribution time approaching. The leading secretary of the party in Pyongsung City emphasized, “We’re going to lead the entire nation by example and excitement generated by collecting patriotic rice for our army.”

City Party of Pyongsung, complemented for setting the example for ‘harmonious culture (아름다운 미풍),’ published another report reassuring “the army’s priority over the share of this year’s harvest.” Last October 28, chief of the Management Committee in village (ri) secretary of the village party and foremen of each of the working units, were ordered to “distribute only 3-4 months of rice to the farmers and to send the rest to the army.” “Are they trying to starve us to death?” were the cries from the people, but it was futile.

Party officials of Pyongsung City and the workers of the People’s Committee are encouraging farmers to apply their full efforts to harvesting rice for the collection of patriotic rice. They emphasized that even lunch should be taken during travel from one place to another. The only hours of rest come when the electricity is cut off.

After the Threshing Season, an Increase in Illegal Border Crossing
In Moosan County and Yeonsa County of North Hamgyong Province, the number of women who cross the border illegally is increasing as threshing season has ended. Up until November 5th, corns and beans that were gathered from private small lot farming and plantations were threshed. Starting from November 15th, threshing of rice began. As soon as the threshing of corns and beans ended, the number of women who cross the river to go to China increased.

Jo Myong-ae, a forty-one-year-old woman, said, “This year’s harvesting has been not bad, still, it’s not so easy to pass the winter since we have to pay back the debt of usury. I guess a lot of people go to China to earn money during the less busy period in order to survive during the period of spring poverty next year.” Following the increase in illegal border crossing, the safety agency of the National Border Area has reinforced patrols around villages and the border area.

Nationwide Orders to Prevent Fires
As fire accidents on the threshing floor have been occurring one after another nationwide, the Central Party instructed each city and county to prepare a plan to prevent fires. Hence, each city and county have called a meeting of their Neighborhood Units and given a lecture on the subject of fires on the threshing floor being directly linked to a loss of food. The lectures are intended to heighten awareness regarding the matter of fires during the end of the harvest season.

In the case of North Pyongan Province, province officials instructed each city and county’s safety agency to “arrest the person who received money from South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) for starting a fire,” and also to reinforce safeguards against arson.

Residents Complain About the Change from “General Markets to Farmers’ Markets
Residents complain over the news that all general markets (종합시장) in each city and county will be turned into farmers’ markets starting next year. Jang Myong-geum (44 years), a resident of the Seongyo District in the Pyongyang City, says, “I heard that only farming products are allowed to be sold in markets. They allow us to purchase other things only on 1st-day markets (1일장). However, this change will cause a lot of inconveniences, and will only make my life harder.” Jung Seong-cheol (48 years), a wholesale marketer in Pyongsung, responds to the news, “If the change will allow marketers to sell products only a couple of days per month, they will try to find an alternative to cope with difficulties in life. I think drug smugglings, illegal border transgressions to China, and various other crimes are going to increase. Even if the government bans such illegal activities, ordinary people like me believe that we must do everything we can in order to find a way to live.” He finally adds, “Many people already worry about the change.”

With the Ban of Rice Sales in Markets, People say, “Is the Amount of Rice Coming from the Government Going to be enough?”

Starting next year, the North Korean authorities will completely ban the sale of grains in markets, and will only allow food purchases at Local Grain Policy Enterprises. After hearing this news, the residents of Soonchun City in the North Pyongan Province raised questions about the ban. Go Soon-nyuh (48 years), who has been selling grains in Soonchun for over five years, laments, “I don’t understand how they expect us to survive if they prohibit food sales in markets, on top of banning the small patch lot farming.” Cha Myong-hee (31 years), who already spoke of the difficult living conditions due to skyrocketing food prices, expresses a little hope, adding, “We will be somewhat relieved if the government sets and sells food at lower prices as they did before.” However, she soon expresses her doubt, “Does the government have enough rice for people? I am not sure whether the government can provide rice for even a few months.”

Both marketers who can’t sell grains anymore and residents who will buy grains at the Local Grain Policy Enterprise are curious about the amount of food the government holds. One officer says, “I am afraid the government will repeat the 2005 mistake in which they proudly announced the full re-distribution of food but retracted the announcement soon.”
Warnings of Kidnappings in the National Border Area
Since November 5, the National Border Area, including Moosan and Hoeryong in North Hamgyong Province, has provided residents with a political ideology culture lecture (정치사상 교양사업) with the topic: “It is necessary to watch carefully kids around 5-7 years of age, to make sure they are not kidnapped by strangers.” The lecture was in reference to a series of incidents in Chungjin, North Hamgyong Province. There have been rumors that the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) has something to do with these kidnappings. Some residents said, “after the NIS kidnaps children of North Korea and trains them as spies, it sends back them to North Korea. National Security Agency has analyzed this NIS practice and say it is a plan to have North Korea fall into chaos.” Baek Geum-seong (44), who drives Servi-cars, said that he also heard a rumor about a kidnapping at the hands of the NIS and explained, “Maybe people trusted this rumor a few years ago, but now many people know that South Korea helps us. Most of them do not seem to trust National Security Agency’s announcement.”

Parent Do Not Want To Send Their Children to School Because of Additional
Since the burden of non-tax payments to schools in Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province, parents’ complaints have become worse. Parents said that they could not send their children to school because they could not bear the burden of non-tax payments, such as scraps of paper, iron, copper, and aluminum for recycling and even rabbit skins every season.

Koh Young-wook (13) gave his parents’ aluminum pots to his school a few days ago without their permission, so his parents scolded him severely. He did not go to school for close to a week because his parents were so angry and blamed the school. “Where can we get scraps of copper and aluminum in this rough season? The school forces students to bring non-tax payments, so children learn theft first. You must not go to school anymore.” One of his classmates broke and stole a storage lock in his neighborhood and gave it to his school, so police officers criticized his parents. Another friend of his rebelled against his parents because of the extra contribution, angering them. He has not been sent to school since.

Since the non-tax payments have become a problem and the number of parents who do not want to send their children to school is increasing, teachers are busy trying to fulfill their required attendance numbers. They visit students who do not come to school and ask their parents to send them, but the parents decisively say, “First, promise not to collect non-tax payments any more.”

When confronted with uncompromising parents, teachers made a promise about the extra contribution and brought students to school. A homeroom teacher of Koh Young-wook said, “Parents know that although I promise the non-tax payments, I cannot keep my word. Nobody trusts the promise. Lately, living is very tough and schools bother students with the extra burden, so parents are angry. Teachers also have a difficult time collecting non-tax payments.” The teacher continued, saying that although some teachers embezzled from the payments, it is not an easy job to meet the angry parents.

An Old Man in His 70s Had a Stroke after Falling Victim to Fraud
Choi, Cheol-young (age 70), who lives in Gimchaek city, North Hamgyong Province fell down with a stroke a few days ago from the shock he attributes to a fraud he fell victim to by a police officer. Mr. Choi has been trying to visit his relatives in China in an effort to help his 4 children, who are suffering from food shortages. He had tried to find ways to go to China for more than a year and then in June of this year he was finally connected with a police officer in charge of security in the area. The police officer told him that his brother is working for foreign affairs. And he told Mr. Choi that he could arrange the deal and let him go over to China if he pays. Mr. Choi gave the person in charge of security 1,200,000 NK Won (US$1.00 is approximately 3,400 NK Won), which he collected from here and there, and waited to hear from him. However, things are still delayed.

Choi's eldest son Seong-guk (44-year-old) said, "My father waited because he was told that it is difficult to go over to China in the summer because of the Summer Olympics. My father pleaded to let him go to China as soon as possible because he has to see his relatives and get help from them before he gets too old and dies, but it fell on deaf ears. I told my father that he could have been defrauded, but my father said, 'What makes you think people of the law would cheat an old man?' and refused to listen to me. As such, the shock he has experienced must have been big since he had trusted them.

Mr. Choi’s second son Myong-guk (age 41) said, "My father sold sunflower seeds on the street and saved the elder’s welfare check so that he could go to China. He also borrowed money from moneylenders by begging them. My father had a big hope that all the problems will be solved only if he goes to China. He waited a very long time, but there was no news. So, he went to see the police officer. However, he was no longer there. He went to see his brother at the foreign affairs office, but there was no such person. My father said, “What kind of world is this? Even the people who enforce the law are defrauding people?” Then, he had a stroke and became bedridden.

Seong-guk said,” My father has been a teacher for all his life. So, he is a simple and honest person. We should have stopped him before he gave money to the police officer, but it was too late when we learned about it. Who would give that kind of large amount of money to a man of the law? In fact, the debt is too big, we don’t know what to do.” Just thinking of it makes us wake up in the middle of the night.

“Illegal Train Tickets Should Be Banned”
The protest incident from passengers at the Chungarm railroad station in Chungjin on November 3 was not something that was confined to Chungjin station alone. Kim, Young-ho (age 51) who has frequent business trips from Pyongyang to Wonsan of Kangwon Province says, “The station employees do not sell the tickets according to the regulations. They are selling the tickets illegally so that they can make money. So, often the people waiting in line cannot even buy the tickets or can’t even get on the train when they have tickets.” People with not much money cannot afford the expensive “Servi-Car (서비차)”. So, they can only use the train that is available once in 3-4 days. There are so many passengers that every car is packed with people and there is no room.

The Central Party issued a railroad related policy several times so that the trains are operated regularly. However, the train schedule is still chaotic. Moreover, as Mr. Kim says, even buying the ticket is very difficult. You either have to pay several times more than the price, or you have to know someone at the station in order to get the ticket without problems. For those with no such resources it is very difficult for them to get the ticket even after waiting in line all day long. This is just like what happened in Chungjin where the train was coming to the station.

Mr. Kim said, “Because the station employees sell the tickets illegally it is very difficult for poor people to use the train. Those who have money are paying several times more than the price because they think paying more money for the ticket and arriving at the destination sooner is saving more money.”

At Chungjin Train Station, Passengers Complain When Their Tickets Are Refused
On November 3, passengers at the Chungarm station in Chungjin City, North Hamgyong Province complained after they were forbidden to board a train even after buying their tickets. Many tickets are sold illegally, so the passengers in the line for a long time were not able to buy a ticket until the train arrived in the station. The tickets were sold right away and those people who bought the last few tickets could not make it to the train. Those who had a ticket but could not take the train confronted the cashiers, saying "I want to return my ticket and get my money back right now." Someone yelled at the closed sales kiosk "Don't you know how many hours we have been waiting?" But nobody in the station showed up and gave them an explanation. The passengers who had missed the train protested for over an hour, but the train station crews did not respond at all, further aggravating the situation. Some customers threw stones and broke the kiosk windows.

A lady who had been throwing stones and three other men were arrested and taken to the police office. As the watchers flocked around the scene they complained, "Why did they get arrested? What did they do wrong?" Police officers let them off with a warning.

One lady, who seemed to be in her mid-thirties, protested, "They just ignored and bothered us because we stayed quiet. We could stand up for ourselves so that they would be terrified by us."

Everybody seemed primed for action until the time the woman stood up and spoke, then the people swiftly changed their attitude and sneaked away. Park Ok-soon, (41), who was at the scene, commented while on his way back home, "she had a lot of nerve to shoot off her mouth. She was stirring up the situation. If we did not leave the place, we could have gotten in big trouble. "

"One beats the bush and another catches the birds"
A short while ago, the Baekarm Power Plant in Ryangang Province awarded its youth workers a token of thanks and words of encouragement. The ceremony of awarding prizes was held with all youth members of the shock troop brigade (돌격대원) Among the twelve people given awards, eight are from high ranking officials' families and wealthy families.

A man in his 20's stated that "most of those awarded are from the high ranking officials' families or wealthy families. They rarely showed up at the construction site and contributed to the work. They might have appeared a couple of times at the construction site but it was rare that anyone had seen them before. I was speechless when I heard that those people got awarded after always making excuses for not doing work. If I were them, I would not take the award. What nerve!"

A coworker next to him said, "It does not matter who receives the award. However, as all other hard workers were ignored, who would like to work so hard that their bodies run with beads of sweat?"

One official responded, "Those youth who received the award have given financial support. A construction is not just about the laborers, we need to feed people who participated in the work. They paid money to buy soybean sauce, bean paste, oil, and other foods so that we can feed all of the other people. They have reasons to get their awards."
Hoeryong City Lost Grain Due To a Fire at the Threshing Floor
On November 6, there was a fire at the threshing floor of the 3rd unit of Obong-ri , Hoeryong City of North Hamgyong Province. It damaged a lot of beans, corn and grain; 6 MT of beans and 10 MT of corn burned which occurred as a result of threshing the grain. Firemen of the city police station tried to extinguish the fire. However, it spread very quickly and they could not do anything until the fire ceased naturally. The Safety Agony thinks that it is highly possible that someone set the fire intentionally and is focusing on finding the arsonist. The agency ordered other threshing floors to make counterplans for fire prevention.

Workers from the Local Grain Policy Enterprise Stealing the Army Provisions
Two workers from the Local Grain Policy Enterprise of Jangyeon County, South Hwanghae Province hoarded 45 kgs of corn while they loaded army provisions. They and their families have been deported to a farm.

[Commentary] We should learn a lesson from failed resumption of the distribution system in 2005
People are confused by the Party announcement concerning the change from the general market to farmer’s market. People are highly concerned that it is very similar to the situation when the party planned to resume the distribution system at the end of 2005.

First, selling grains at the market is prohibited and is only possible at the Local Grain Policy Enterprise. Second, the general market has been converted to a farmer’s market. People should deal food, daily necessities and manufactured goods at the state-run store except the surplus. Third, private small patch lot farming and self-food supply have also been prohibited.

The background of this policy also resembles the previous one. For the time being, the assumption of the domestic food output is high. The food yield of 2005 was about 4.5 million MT and it was higher than any other year. Even though we acknowledge the possibility that they might inflate about 1-1.5 million MT, it seems the amount was higher than the year before. The output of this year is higher than that of last year too.

Second, the expectation of external support ceased as the international situation got better. In 2005, the Six Party Talk that faced difficulty showed rapid advancement thanks to the September 19th agreement. Similar to this, security risk will decrease and cooperation with the international society will increase in this year too as America delisted the DPRK from the terrorist country, and the Obama Democratic Administration will take the reins of the government.

However, the resumption of the distribution system in 2005 failed as a result. The government failed to exterminate the rice selling at the market. It is because of the failure of the food distribution. The government needed to receive at least 2 million tons of food from outside in addition to the domestic output. Nevertheless, the relations between North Korea and USA met difficulty in 2006, and lunching the missile and nuclear test caused the suspension of the international support, which was the worst situation ever.

Furthermore, the consecutive flood of 2006 and 2007 worsened the food shortage problem while the external support discontinued.

The goal of resuming the distribution system that the North Korean government planned was to reduce the size of market down to farmer’s market in order to prevent a capitalistic market economy being established in society, as this would threaten the socialist economy system. At the same time, the Party expected people working at the market to return to the industrial field and consequently to recover social order. However, the plan failed.

Before the North Korean government puts its policy of the general market into practice, it is necessary to analyze why the policy of 2005 failed. There are different conditions from that time in that DPRK has been removed from the list of Terrorist countries and the Obama administration has showed it will discuss with North Korea how the US government can assist. This could be a good sign. Nevertheless, suspension of food support from South Korea due to the blockade in relations between North and South Korea, and the food and financial crisis of the World over all are difficult obstacles that cannot be ignored.

Above all things, prospects for the domestic economy, is still opaque. It is not that North Korea made epochal counterplans to solve the shortage problems of energy and raw materials. It cannot increase the factory working ratio either. Even though the government forbids the market and sends people to factories, if it fails to supply food and wages then people will find their own ways to live again.

People are anxious about living with the news of the resuming distribution system rather than relieved. It is true that people flocked into markets and it caused a sharp increase in the number of flowing people and unemployment, disparity between wealth and poverty, and the outflow of information. These changes caused social disturbances. Even though there are side effects like this, it is very dangerous to enforce the policy that threatens residents’ living. If the government cannot take the responsibility of people’s living, then it should let people find their own ways to sustain their lives. Based on the fact that a country cannot exist without people, the government should make policies that do not threaten people’s quality of living.

[Planning a Series] Reading North Korea 2008 Through “North Korea’s Nationwide Report”
In North Korea 2008, What Was Accomplished and What Was Not?

Part 1 Review of New Year’s Combined Editorial 2008
Part 2 Executive Plan on New Year’s Editorial 2008
Part 3 Making Distinction from Lee Myung-bak Regime
Part 4 Warnings against Moral Hazards by Party Leaders
Part 5 Food Crisis, To Break Through? Or To Persuade?
Part 6 Love and Hate toward United States
Part 7 What North Korea Could Accomplish; What North Korea Could Not Accomplish;

Part 2 Executive Plan on New Year’s Editorial 2008

“Lets Engage Ourselves in Unity Toward the Struggle To Accomplish the Challenging Tasks Shown in This Year’s Combined Editorial” from ‘Public Lecture Materials for Party Leaders and General Public’, January, Juche 97 (2008)

In the previous issue, we reviewed where the national policies were headed, specifically considering the peculiarities of the Combined Editorial. Its main theme was that the three crises (Economic, Party and Military) should be broken through by means of ideological struggle to accomplish a year of historical transformation. Soon after the Combined Editorial was published, the Public Lecture Material, “Let everyone join in the struggle to accomplish the aggressive tasks announced in this year’s Combined Editorial” was also published during the same month. This publication announces the specifics on how to accomplish the New Year’s Combined Editorial.

Unlike the Combined Editorial in which transformation was mentioned as going around the waist of the mountain instead of scaling it directly to the top, this Lecture Material displays quite an optimistic attitude. It declares, “The past ten years … we followed our Leader’s revolutionary military-first policy and won the historical victories in the struggles against America and protection of socialism.” It uses up a space of three pages in declaring, “We already victoriously broke through the March of Hardship, the tough long march. … put in place the foundation of a strong nation.”, “Our fatherland reached a place of one of the strongest nations in history and presents itself proudly to other nations.”

It declared that the nation overcame all the obstacles in its paths and what remains is the only task of reaching the top of the mountain. “All the foundation for the nation has been laid. These are the specific ways to accomplish the Party’s intentions and goals ‘in a matter of a few years’.” Thus declared the New Year’s Editorial.

This Year’s Task

“Strengthening and promoting the political and ideological power which is the foremost strength of the military-first Republic”
The expression ‘the foremost strength of the Republic’ is used for the first time.

The foremost strength of the Republic is the politico-ideological power.
- The powerful spirit of the military and the people
- The spirit of protecting the Leader by all means
- The spiritual power of the Leader.

We should strengthen and promote the political and ideological power which is the foremost strength of the military-first Republic.

Firstly, it announced, “We should strengthen and promote the political and ideological power which is the foremost strength of the military-first Republic.” The expression, “the foremost strength of the military-first Republic” appeared for the first time. What is the “the foremost strength of the military-first Republic”? It is the ‘politico-ideological power’. As in the New Year’s Editorial, here again emphasizes the ideological struggle. It announces, “The core of the spirit of the military and the people is in protecting the Leader by all means.”

According to a party leader, what this means is that “when the spirit of the military and the people reaches the level of the spiritual power of the Leader, then we can say that it has reached the spirit of protecting the Leader by all means.” That is to say, “not only do we have to follow the Leader physically, but also we have to change spiritually.” In other words, as the Leader thinks, so we should think.

Our Leader’s spiritual power
“It all began empty handed”
“Dusk of Kangsun”

What is the spiritual power of the Leader we are to follow? The publication symbolically presents two songs. One is “We all started empty handed” and the other song is “Dusk of Kangsun”. The theme of both songs is that “something was created from nothing” and this is the level of the Leader’s spiritual power.

How do we protect our Leader?
- Think like the Leader
- Spiritual power of the Leader
- Spirit of “Dusk of Gangsun”
Kangsun Steel Mill could raise the capability to 120,000 MT because of passionate ideology
Ideology determines everything

As is well known about the “Dusk of Kangsun”, the song praises the Kngsun Steel Mill as the trigger of Chullima Period (천리마시대). North Korea had to face a difficult period, domestically and internationally. North Korea had to face severe shortage of capital, materials and technology, because of the “Jongpa Incident (종파사건), August 1956” domestically and drastic reduction of aid from the Soviet Union. They had to mobilize resources, natural and human, in order to overcome the lack of resources. The late Chairman Kim Il-Song tried to enhance the spirit of will power on the part of workers at the Kangsun Steel Mill. Kangsun Steel Mill doubled its production from the annual 30,000 MT to 60,000 MT at the urging of the Supreme Commander. Its production capability even went further to 120,000 MT.

What made this miracle possible? It is the conclusion of the party leadership of North Korea that it was the power of ideology. That is, “Ideology determines everything”. Do not set any limit on production capabilities. Just follow the party’s request. Look at the Kangsun Steel Mill. 30,000 MT was set as the maximum capacity, but was it not 120,000 MT that was produced? This is what they want to emphasize.

How do we reach the same level of spiritual power as that of our Leader?
- Arm yourselves with Juche ideology and military-first principles
- Maintain our style of socialism (In confrontation with the enemies of South Korea and U.S. imperialism, maintain the principles of revolution and class struggle)

Armament with ideology is the only way to follow the Leader’s power of spirit.

Then how do we reach the level of the Leader’s power of spirit? We should arm with Juche ideology and military-first principle. Why? We are confronting the enemy.

Firstly, by maintaining the principles of revolution and class struggle, we should crush the actions by the U.S. imperialists to push us down. We should not have any delusion on any of the seemingly benign actions on the part of the U.S. imperialists.

Secondly, we should not develop any delusion about South Korea.

Last year, U.S. President Bush sent a personal message to our Leader. The result was that we strictly maintained the principles of revolution and class struggle and that we did not concede to the U.S. imperialists. South Korea is in a situation where they are facing political and economical difficulties. South Korean citizens feel their survival is threatened. They believe that the only way out is to cooperate economically with North Korea which the U.S. is afraid of because of our military-first policy.

This very emphasis on the delusion with U.S.A. and South Korea provides a hint that the delusion is wide spread among North Korean citizens. A party leader said, “In fact, the Republic believes that military-first policy protects the residents of South Korea. However, it is afraid of the delusion about U.S.A and South Korea spreading, because the difference between the South and North in economic capability is like heaven and earth. Anyone who ought to know anything worth knowing knows it and has the delusion. Therefore, they are trying to block it ideologically. This is what they call internally ‘teaching in the mosquito net’.”

The North Korean authorities continuously consider the ‘ideology struggle’ as the only and the most important defensive weapon by this manner. They declare, “We should crush the socio-cultural invasion and psychological warfare by the reactionary enemy. We should not allow any elements to corrode our institutions, our morals and culture of socialism and life styles. We should initiate an offensive in the ideological endeavor.” That is to say that we should consider it an offensive weapon more than merely a defensive weapon.

So far, more than half of the Lecture Materials emphasizes ‘ideological’ endeavor. Then the needs of a total offensive to build an economically strong nation and policy on economic buildup are mentioned.

The following four principles for economic buildup are presented.

First, principle of technical enhancement, taking advantage of peculiarity of economic structure,
Second, principle of securing practical benefit, which returns practical gains to the people,
Third, principle of total mobilization, resources of all sources and potentials,
Lastly, push for construction of nation of economic strength, on top of external economic development.

Instructions followed on how to enhance the areas of electricity, coal production, metals industry and rail transportation, etc. Emphasizing ‘People’s Living First’ principle, it declared, “There is no task more desperate or important than solving the problem of feeding people.” As part of emphasis in the area of agriculture, it was declared that policies on ‘seed revolution’, ‘two crops’, ‘revolution on potato growing’ and ‘soybean growing’ should be carried out thoroughly. Especially ‘Spirit of Daedongdan’ and ‘Atmosphere of Daehongdan’ were urged for all to learn. Additionally, areas of light industry, construction, management of urban region, nurturing of scientists and projects on education were mentioned.

Lastly, it concludes with the statement, “Responsibility and role of revolutionary workers should be decisively enhanced.”

Beginning with ‘blowing their own trumpet’, struggles for ideology was emphasized. The last half was used to mention the economic buildup and other major tasks. Party leaders were asked to follow the party’s requests. This request was made with heavy emphasis. In this way, the Public Lecture Material concluded.

“Where there is accomplishment, it did not start in an empty space”

New Year’s Combined Editorial emphasized ‘ideological struggle’ as a means to break through the three crises. The Public Lecture Materials for party leaders and general public also emphasized this. It simply shows how important ‘Leader-centered’ ideology is.
Absolutizing the ideology quite often resulted in lost trust and expectation on the part of the North Korean leadership.

Workers at Kangsun Steel Mill increased its productions from 30,000 MT to 120,000 MT. Undoubtedly it was an accomplishment, presented with pride. The same goes for ‘Spirit of Daeongdan' and ‘Atmosphere of Daehongdan.’ An explosive increase in potato production and other accomplishments are worthwhile indeed. However, the issue is that it was not the ‘power of ideology’ that was solely responsible for these accomplishments as the North Korean leadership claims.

In case of Kangsun Steel Mill and potato production of Daehongdan more than spiritual elements were involved. Many young men on inactive military duty and many young women were put into the Daehongdan project. In other words, human resources were secured, enough agricultural equipment imported from Russia provided and sufficient amount of fertilizer deployed. All this was made possible by the party’s support. Just consider some comments made by the residents of other regions, “If we get support as Daehongdan, we could accomplish the same.” As some party leaders testified, “The accomplishment was not made in ‘an empty space’.”

As for the food crisis, it used to be said that ‘Seed revolution’, ‘Two crops’, ‘Potato growing’ and ‘Soybean growing’ are the four items that could bring a year of joy when they are done well. How is the reality? Since the March of Hardship, more than any other year, those perished from starvation are the most in number, price of food experienced a steep increase and fertilizer was low in supply.

North Korean government failed to supply materials necessary to accomplish national goals. The request for the people to find a way to accomplish goals set by the government on their own by means of the ‘power of ideology’ under such a lacking situation’ is indeed a hard order to fill.

No matter how well armed with ideology, no party member even with the best reputation would be able to generate anything from nothing. Such a miracle would never occur.
Before asking anyone to start from ‘an empty space’, all the unreasonable policies should be revised, securing all the necessary resources and luring investments by revitalizing the system. All these will bring ‘practical benefits.’

This Public Lecture Material lacks items concerning international relations and relationship toward South Korea. The Material came out in January. Since the presidential election in South Korea on Dec. 19 last year until Apr. 1, North Korean government did not disclose any clear preference concerning South Korean government. North Korea’s nuclear issues continue to remain unchanged as shaped in the six-party conference. North Korean government lacked items to explain to the party leaders and general public concerning nuclear issues and issues regarding South Korea. And then early April, they initiated an offensive against Lee Myung-bak regime.

On our next issue, we intend to review the Lecture Material for the party leaders and general public, published last April with the title, “Concerning the Inevitability of Bankruptcy of the Anti-North Confrontation Policy Set By the Lee Myung-bak Group.”