GoodFriends: Research Institute For North Korean Society

.

North Korea Today No. 342 June 2010

[“Good Friends” aims to help the North Korean people from a humanistic point of view and publishes “North Korea Today” describing the way the North Korean people live as accurately as possible. We at Good Friends also hope to be a bridge between the North Korean people and the world.]
_________________________________________________________
Central Party Instructs, “Party officials are to give up some food for the laborers”
Shinpo City Collects Food from Primary Officials to Distribute to Farmers
Field Officials Struggle with Orders from Department of Agriculture, "Supply irrigation water to rice field"
Corn Farming in North Hamgyong Province Troubled due to Unusually Cold Weather
Women Angered by Starvation, “How can I go for farming mobilization without eating…?”
________________________________________________________
Central Party Instructs, “Party officials are to give up some food for the laborers”
Until last May, it was reported that provincial party officials took the initiative and contributed food and money to alleviate the food shortage problem. According to a source in Pyongyang, since last February, the Central Party instructed that party officials in each province, city, and county as well as law enforcement officials in each public prosecutors office, security department, and police station must contribute food and money in order to alleviate the food shortages of the laborers. As a result, officials contributed corn or cash once a month since last March; 140kg per person allocated to prosecutors, 110-140kg to city officials, 70-100kg to county officials, and 200kg to provincial and security department officials. An official of Pyongsung City, South Pyongan Province reported that the reduction in death toll by starvation in March after the rise in prevalence of death by starvation in February was because of this reason. However, he also reported that they find it difficult to explore the source of food and thus food could not be purchased even with money. An official of Pyongyang expressed concern that “the Prime Minister Young Il Kim asked for three months (to solve the food problem) but the time is up. Now is the beginning of the most busy season (June, July, and August), and if we still cannot secure food in June, we may have a serious national crisis of death by starvation.” Similar concern was raised at a provincial officials’ conference of North Hamgyong Province; since Chairman Kim Jung Il’s visit to China, they are anxiously waiting for news of China’s food aid.

Shinpo City Collects Food from Primary Officials to Distribute to Farmers
At farms in Shinpo City, South Hamgyong Province, it was reported that farm officials contributed food to prepare for the food distribution when starving farmers did not come to work. Now is the busiest season to work on a farm, but there are about 9-10 families of starved farmers that do not come to work in each work unit in a cooperative farm at Yanghwa-ri. Students and residents are helping during the farming mobilization period, but considerable setback in farming is inevitable because many professional farmers are not coming to work. As a result, Shinpo City Party and the Farming Management Committee instructed to the officials in a collective farm at Yanghwa-ri and other similarly situated cooperative farms in the city that they need to at least temporarily support the minimum living conditions for the families of starved farmers that do not come to work. In response, each village party secretary and the farming management committee chairperson delivered the message to the primary officials and instructed them that each person must contribute at least 15kg of corn.

Field Officials Struggle with Orders from Department of Agriculture, "Supply irrigation water to rice field"
An order was delivered nationwide that directs to thoroughly prepare for the spring farming season to ensure proper rice seedling and ample water supply for the rice seeding bed. The instructions included maintenance of water pumps in case of power shortages and repair of broken pumps that are necessary for continual water supply for the rice seeding beds. On May 2nd, the Department of Agriculture issued these instructions to each of the province offices, who in turn relayed the instructions to the corresponding cities and counties the following afternoon. Technical advisors and the leaders of each working unit held a teleconference to enforce these commands and stimulate the farm management officials. The farm workers, however, began to complain of farming difficulties. Rice often dried up and withered, and even deid from an illness borne in the farms due to problems with water pumping facilities and electric power shortages in the farms of Baechun County, Yeonan County, and Taetan County in South Hwanghae Province and Wonsan in Kangwon Province.
In Sinryung-ri, Nampo City in South Pyongan Province, the farm was unable to provide water to the crops because of broken water pumps as well as power shortages. Most of the rice plants dried up and died from an illness, and the situation was worst in work unit numbers 3, 4, and 7. The farmers tried hard to save them, but they ended up throwing the withered rice plants out. As this depletion of rice plants spread nationwide, the Department of Agriculture criticized the manager officials in charge of the respective farms and warned that officials who failed to properly manage their famrs would be legally accused of ‘acting against the agricultural revolution policy.' The farm manager workers were stunned by the criticisms and fell into despair as they could not find a solution to the problems.

Corn Farming in North Hamgyong Province Troubled due to Unusually Cold Weather
Big concern has emerged at local collective farms and small-area-farming due to cloudy and rainy weather of mid-May. North Hamgyong Province, well-known for its cold weather, has been especially cold this year and the sunshine has been very little. Many of corn seeds failed to sprout or rot under the ground, so farmers are very disappointed saying, “There’s no need to wait for the harvest.” Due to this fact, the demand for ‘Hwa Sung no.1,’ which is a seed known for its durability in the cold, has increased sharply along with its price. Farmers, who work on a small plot focusing on securing the seeds, are even paying 7kg of corns to 1kg of ‘Hwa Sung no.1’ seeds. Farmers who obtained the ‘Hwa Sung no.1’ seeds are busy sowing them again.

Women Angered by Starvation, “How can I go for farming mobilization without eating…?”
It is busy time of farming mobilization for planting, but what you hear is people clamoring for food. As of June in Gowon County, South Hamgyong Province, the number of households that are unable to go to work due to the hunger is increasing. According to an official of the County Party, the deaths by starvation which happened between last February and May occurred mostly in these households.
Soonchun City of South Pyongan Province is attempting to reinforce ideological work when the majority of Democratic Women’s Union members did not attend the mobilization, but it is not working. They only hear, “How can we participate in the mobilization when we have not eaten anything?” In the case of a primary group of Ryeonbong dong, Soonchun, only 8 to 9 people out of 25 participates in everyday mobilization. Although officials of City Party and Women’s Union forces people with ideological work, people do not care and leave for peddling. On last May 26th, officials of Propaganda Department of City Party and Democratic Women’s Union in charge of ideological work criticized members of DWU who refused to follow their order with swearing only to be met by angry reaction from them. The officials said they felt intimidated as the atmosphere turned into a kind of public trial by a mob as the DWU members responded with anger saying, “You dare to criticize us when you can’t even provide food to us?” An official of the Union complained about the difficulties with mobilizing people saying, “Empty words don’t work any more. The government should be able to provide for people’s lives, but they are telling people to survive on their own. Who would trust and follow the Party’s propaganda in this situation? We have nothing to say even when people miss the mobilization.”

No comments:

There was an error in this gadget