Archive for the ‘Agriculture’ Category

Kim Jong-un’s northeastern factory tour in July

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

KCNA today (July 17th) carried several reports from Kim Jong-un’s on-the-spot-guidance tour in the northeast. My sense from the reports is that the projection is very much focused on the second leg of Byungjin, i.e., paying attention not just to economic production, but to quality and progress as well. At the same time, the rhetoric is pretty old-fashioned, in many ways so even by North Korean standards, such as the claims that production quality stems not from economic differences between provinces, but in the ideological consciousness of those in charge.

As is customary in these cases, Kim primarily offers advice along the lines of “do things more, faster and better”. Anyway, there’s much more to be garnered from a closer reading and analysis of the texts. I’m including both the Korean originals and English-language translations below.

Kim Jong Un Inspects Chongjin Bag Factory

Pyongyang, July 17 (KCNA) — The respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un inspected the Chongjin Bag Factory.

In recent years he established production processes of materials for manufacturing bags including cloth and zip capable of satisfying the needs of the country one by one and, on the basis of them, set forth the task for pushing ahead with the work to successfully build an independent factory for production of schoolbags in every province and to mass-produce and supply bags of good quality with supplied materials as an important policy.

However, the North Hamgyong Provincial Party Committee did not sincerely accept the Party’s policy on newly building a bag factory in line with the capacity while disregarding the work initiated by the Party to provide all necessary things for the schoolers with our own products, giving top priority to the education for the generations to come. It offered shabby rooms of the building at the Chongjin Regenerated Fibre Factory for a bag production base and thus caused great anxiety to Kim Jong Un who came to the factory to learn about the bag production in localities.

The Supreme Leader pointed out that the Provincial Party Committee is working in a perfunctory manner, disregarding an important policy to be prioritized by it and that its attitude toward the acceptance and implementation of the Party policy is very wrong and the committee has no revolutionary spirit and responsible attitude of working hard to implement the Party policy.

Looking round the sample room of the factory, he said that the factory’s level of producing bags is high though its production began one and half a year ago and the skills of its employees are high and that the bags are diverse in color and size and they were well made with much care according to the ages.

He said it is necessary to make the shoulder straps of bags with thicker sponge, noting that they should be made with twice thicker sponge than now so that their users may not feel pain

Stressing the need to strive for further raising the quality of bags, he said that the central factories responsible for production of raw materials should produce the accessories of bags such as cloth, zip and tape with locally available materials and ensure their production on a high level.

He called for qualitative and meticulous sewing to produce quality bags so that they should not get unfastened or ripped though children and pupils handle them at random.

It is necessary to further reduce the bag production cost, he said, giving an instruction to reexamine the price of school things including Mindulle notebooks and bags being supplied to pupils.

Saying that even though the state has more burdens, it should not give inconvenience to the people, he stressed it is needed to correct the price after listening to the view of inhabitants.

He charged that there is a problem in the work of the Provincial Party Committee as it has not yet built a design room, paying no attention to a poor products show room.

Noting that he gave an instruction for provincial party committees to build a schoolbag factory in a responsible manner in every province and learned about the construction of bag factories in some provinces and they are considerably different in level, he said such difference should be considered as a gap in the officials’ ideological attitude toward the Party policy, not difference in the economic power of provinces.

The overall economy of the country can vigorously progress when North Hamgyong Province with great industrial potentials stands up, he said, expressing belief that the Provincial Party Committee would rectify its faults as soon as possible and wage a dynamic struggle for implementing the Party policies and thus build up the province into a reliable key industry zone of the country and bring about a radical turn in improving the people’s living standard.

He was accompanied by Hwang Pyong So, Jo Yong Won, O Il Jong and Kim Yong Su, senior officials of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. -0-

김정은동지께서 청진가방공장을 현지지도

(평양 7월 17일발 조선중앙통신)

경애하는 최고령도자 김정은동지께서 청진가방공장을 현지지도하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 최근년간 전국적수요를 충족시킬수 있는 가방천과 쟈크를 비롯한 가방제작용자재생산공정들을 하나하나 꾸려주시였으며 그 능력이 갖추어진데 맞게 매 도들에서 독립적인 학생가방생산공장을 잘 꾸리고 자재들을 보장받아 질좋은 가방을 대대적으로 생산공급하는 사업을 중요한 정책적과업으로 틀어쥐고 강하게 내밀데 대한 과업을 제시하시였다.

그러나 함경북도당위원회에서는 당에서 후대교육사업을 그토록 중시하며 학생들에게 필요한 모든것을 우리의것으로 마련해주기 위하여 발기한 사업을 소홀히 하면서 가방공장을 능력에 맞게 새로 건설할데 대한 당의 방침을 정중히 접수하지 않고 청진재생섬유공장건물의 허술한 방들을 내여 가방생산기지를 너절하게 꾸려놓음으로써 지방의 가방생산실태를 료해하기 위하여 찾아오신 경애하는 최고령도자동지께 커다란 걱정을 끼쳐드리였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 도당위원회가 제일 선차적으로 틀어쥐고나가야 할 중요한 정책적문제를 놓치고 형식주의적으로 일하고있다고,당의 방침을 접수하고 집행하는 태도가 매우 틀려먹었다고,당정책관철을 위하여 이악하게 달라붙어 투쟁하는 혁명적기풍과 주인다운 일본새가 돼먹지 않았다고 엄하게 지적하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 공장의 견본실을 돌아보시면서 가방생산을 시작한지 1년반이 되였다고 하는데 그사이 가방생산수준이 높아졌다고,종업원들의 수준이 괜찮다고 하시면서 가방의 색갈과 크기도 다양하고 년령특성에 맞게 품들여 잘 만들고있다고 하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 가방의 멜빵에 전반적으로 해면을 좀더 두텁게 넣어야 하겠다고 하시면서 특히 어깨부분에는 지금의 두배만큼 해면을 넣어 무거운 책가방을 메여도 아프지 않게 만들어야 한다고 이르시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 가방의 질을 더 높이기 위한 투쟁을 힘있게 밀고나가야 한다고 하시면서 원자재생산을 맡은 중앙의 공장들에서 가방천과 쟈크,테프를 비롯한 가방부속자재들을 국산화하고 높은 수준에서 생산보장하여야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 특히 재봉을 질적으로 깐지게 하여 어린이들과 학생들이 가방을 험하게 다루어도 실이 풀리거나 터져나가지 않도록 든든하게 만들어야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 가방생산원가를 더 낮추어야 한다고 하시면서 지금 학생들에게 공급하고있는 민들레학습장과 가방을 비롯한 학생용품들의 가격을 다시 잘 검토해볼데 대한 지시를 주시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 국가적부담이 커지더라도 인민들에게 불편을 주면 안된다고 하시면서 가격에 대한 군중의 평가를 들어보고 바로잡을것은 바로잡아야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 청진가방공장을 건설한지 1년반이 되도록 아직까지 도안실도 꾸리지 않고 제품진렬실도 너절한채로 두고있는것을 보면 확실히 도당위원회사업에 문제가 있다고 심각히 비판하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 도당위원회가 틀어쥐고 도들마다에 학생가방공장을 건설하도록 하였는데 몇개 도의 가방공장건설정형을 료해하여보니 수준이 현저히 차이난다고,자그마한 학생가방공장을 하나 꾸리는데 수준이 이렇듯 차이나는것은 결코 도들의 경제력의 차이가 아니라 당정책을 접수하는 일군들의 사상관점의 차이로 보아야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 공업의 잠재력이 큰 함경북도가 일떠서야 나라의 전반적경제가 활력있게 전진할수 있다고 하시면서 함경북도당위원회가 결함을 하루빨리 시정하고 당정책관철을 위한 투쟁을 힘있게 전개해나감으로써 도를 나라의 믿음직한 기간공업지대로 튼튼히 꾸리고 인민생활향상에서 획기적인 전환을 가져오리라는 기대를 표명하시였다.

조선로동당 중앙위원회 간부들인 황병서동지,조용원동지,오일정동지,김용수동지가 동행하였다.(끝)

Kim Jong Un Inspects Jungphyong-ri, Kyongsong County

Pyongyang, July 17 (KCNA) — The respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un inspected Jungphyong-ri, Kyongsong County, North Hamgyong Province with the idea of building a large-scale vegetable greenhouse farm in it.

Kim Jong Un has given his whole mind to sufficiently supplying the vegetables to the people by massively cultivating them of various sorts even in the northern oceanic climate more unfavorable than the plain area. He went to the spot with the idea of building a large-scale vegetable greenhouse farm in the sector of an air force regiment in Jungphyong-ri to be removed according to a decision made by the Central Military Commission of the Party, personally learned about the site and clarified the long-term plan for building a huge vegetable greenhouse farm.

Looking at the vast land of the sector in an airport, he said that if we build a vegetable greenhouse farm of one hundred hectares, it will be splendid, and such area of the greenhouse will fully meet the needs of the people in the province. He expressed great satisfaction, saying he is very pleased today and that he is most pleased when he does a worthy thing for the people one by one like this.

Saying that the People’s Army should build the farm at lightening speed as it is the first gigantic and large-scale construction in the country, he stressed that it is necessary to build it at the highest level while ensuring both construction speed and quality as it is the farm to be provided by the Party with firm determination, not sparing the investment for the people in North Hamgyong Province.

He called for building the farmers’ residential area and cultural and welfare establishments in a modern and civilized way and thus successfully sprucing up the farm village as a model of socialist rural cultural construction and socialist paradise in which it is nice to live and work.

He indicated a general orientation arising in building the farm and operating it including the issue of organizing the powerful headquarters for dynamically pressing ahead with the construction and permanent organs of different fields, the issue of manufacturing greenhouse equipment and supplying the construction materials and the issue of training of the greenhouse engineers and securing seeds and manpower.

He was accompanied by Hwang Pyong So, Jo Yong Won, O Il Jong and Kim Yong Su, senior officials of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. -0-

김정은동지께서 함경북도 경성군 중평리를 돌아보시였다

(평양 7월 17일발 조선중앙통신)

경애하는 최고령도자 김정은동지께서 함경북도 경성군 중평리에 대규모남새온실농장을 꾸리실 구상을 안으시고 현지를 돌아보시였다.

벌방지대보다 불리한 북부해양성기후조건에서도 사철 푸르싱싱한 갖가지 남새를 많이 생산하여 인민들에게 풍족하게 공급하기 위하여 깊이 마음써오신 경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 당중앙군사위원회 결정으로 이동배치하게 되는 경성군 중평리의 비행련대구획에 대규모의 남새온실농장을 꾸리실 구상을 안으시고 현지에 나가시여 부지를 직접 료해하시고 웅대한 남새온실농장건설전망계획을 밝혀주시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 비행장구획의 광활한 옥토를 바라보시며 여기에 100정보의 남새온실농장을 건설하면 멋있을것이라고,이만한 온실면적이면 도내인민들의 수요를 충분히 충족시킬수 있을것이라고 하시면서 오늘 정말 기분이 좋다고,이렇게 인민을 위한 보람있는 일을 하나하나 찾아할 때가 제일 기쁘다고 하시며 더없이 만족해하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 우리 나라에서 처음으로 되는 거창하고 방대한 규모의 남새온실농장건설이므로 인민군대가 전적으로 맡아 불이 번쩍 나게 해제껴야 한다고 하시면서 당에서 함경북도인민들을 위하여 투자를 아끼지 않고 마음먹고 마련해주는 농장인것만큼 건설속도와 질을 다같이 보장하며 최상의 수준에서 건설하여야 한다고 강조하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 농장원들의 주택지구와 문화후생시설도 도시부럽지 않게 현대적으로 문명하게 지어주어 농장마을을 그야말로 살기도 좋고 일하기도 좋은 사회주의농촌문화건설의 본보기,사회주의락원으로 훌륭하게 꾸려주자고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 남새온실농장건설을 힘있게 추진하기 위한 강력한 건설지휘부를 조직하고 각 부문별로 상무를 내올데 대한 문제,온실설비제작과 건설자재보장문제,온실기사양성과 종자,로력확보문제를 비롯하여 농장건설과 운영준비에서 나서는 총적방향을 제시하시였다.

조선로동당 중앙위원회 간부들인 황병서동지,조용원동지,오일정동지,김용수동지가 동행하였다.(끝)

Kim Jong Un Inspects Onpho Holiday Camp

Pyongyang, July 17 (KCNA) — The respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un inspected the Onpho Holiday Camp.

He visited it late at night and acquainted himself with its management, operation and situation.

Looking round the bathroom of the camp, he pointed out its very bad condition, saying bathtubs for hot spring therapy are dirty, gloomy and unsanitary for their poor management. If the camp draws criticism by the people instead of their favor due to such poor operation and management though it is holding a signboard indicating that it is a building visited by President Kim Il Sungand leader Kim Jong Il, it will commit a sin of bringing to naught the exploits of the great leaders who built a holiday camp for the people before anything else in the scenery place where hot spring water is gushing out all the year round, he said.

He asked the chairman of the Kyongsong County Party Committee about the output of hot spring water and its temperature at the point of gust and accommodation capacity of the camp and the number of rest-home visitors, and gave a task to modernly and newly build the camp.

Calling for sprucing up the area of the camp which is famous for spring water in the country to be a peculiar resort which meets the convenience and growing cultural and emotional demands of the people at the best level, he said he would make sure that the People’s Army would excellently build it next year and present it to the people as a gift.

He said the camp should be built excellently to be an all-round service center, therapy center with all catering establishments so that people can enjoy full rest and spring water therapy during their holiday, adding its design should be worked out in a peculiar manner to meet the features of the spring water area and thus build the camp into a model of the spring water holiday camps without an equal in the country.

Having a talk with the chairman of the Kyongsong County Party Committee, he asked him about the work of the county party committee and the work it plans to do in the future, he gave precious teachings for developing the county in a peculiar manner.

Noting that the county has fields, mountains and a sea and good traffic conditions, he said that as it has some foundation for developing industry, agriculture and fisheries, the county party committee should study and work hard for the earlier development of the economy of the county which has favorable natural and economic conditions.

He expressed expectation and belief that the county party committee would bring about a decisive turn in the struggle for turning the county into a marvelous one good to live with its own efforts by inspiring the people in the county to the drive for implementing the party policy.

He was accompanied by Hwang Pyong So, Kim Song Nam, Jo Yong Won, O Il Jong and Kim Yong Su, senior officials of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. -0-

김정은동지께서 온포휴양소를 현지지도

(평양 7월 17일발 조선중앙통신)

경애하는 최고령도자 김정은동지께서 온포휴양소를 현지지도하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 깊은 밤 온포휴양소를 찾으시여 관리운영실태와 형편을 료해하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 휴양소의 목욕탕을 돌아보시면서 관리를 잘하지 않아 온천치료욕조가 어지럽고 침침하고 비위생적이라고,이런 환경에서 치료가 되겠는가고,정말 너절하다고 지적하시였다.

위대한 수령님과 위대한 장군님의 령도업적이 깃들어있는 사적건물이라는 간판을 걸어놓고 이렇게 한심하게 관리운영하여 인민들의 호평이 아니라 비평을 받게 되면 사철 온천물이 마를줄 모르고 솟아나는 경치좋은 곳에 인민을 위한 휴양소부터 일떠세워주신 수령님과 장군님의 업적을 말아먹고 죄를 짓게 된다고 준절히 이르시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 경성군당위원장에게 온천의 용출량과 용출구의 온도,욕탕의 온도는 얼마이며 휴양소의 수용능력은 얼마인가,지금 휴양생들이 몇명이나 있는가를 상세히 알아보시고 온포휴양소를 현대적으로 새로 건설할데 대한 과업을 제시하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 우리 나라의 유명한 온천지대인 온포휴양소일대를 인민들의 편의와 높아가는 문화정서적요구가 최상의 수준에서 구현된 휴양지로 특색있게 잘 꾸려보자고,인민군대가 다음해에 멋들어지게 건설하여 우리 인민들에게 선물하게 하시겠다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 인민들이 휴양을 와서 충분한 휴식도 하고 온천치료도 할수 있도록 모든 봉사망들을 다 갖춘 종합봉사기지,치료봉사기지로 훌륭하게 꾸리며 온천지대의 특성이 살아나게 설계를 독특하게 하여 우리 나라에 둘도 없는 온천휴양소의 본보기로 건설하여야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 경성군당위원장과 담화를 하시며 현재 군당에서 진행하고있는 사업들과 앞으로 계획하고있는 사업들에 대하여서도 물어주시고 군을 특색있게 발전시켜나가기 위한 귀중한 가르치심을 주시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 경성군은 벌도 있고 산과 바다도 끼고있으며 교통조건도 좋다고,공업과 농업,수산업을 발전시킬수 있는 토대도 일정하게 갖추어져있는것만큼 군당위원회가 자연경제적조건이 유리한 군의 경제를 빨리 발전시키기 위하여 머리를 쓰고 이악하게 투쟁하여야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 경성군당위원회가 당정책관철에로 군내인민들을 조직동원하여 자체의 힘으로 군을 살기 좋은 훌륭한 고장으로 발전시켜나가기 위한 투쟁에서 획기적인 전변을 가져오리라는 기대와 확신을 표명하시였다.

조선로동당 중앙위원회 간부들인 황병서동지,김성남동지,조용원동지,오일정동지,김용수동지가 동행하였다.(끝)

Kim Jong Un Inspects Yombunjin Hotel under Construction

Pyongyang, July 17 (KCNA) — The respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un inspected the Yombunjin Hotel under construction.

The construction of the Yombunjin Hotel began in July 2011 in hearty response to the teachings given by leader Kim Jong Il on several occasions to successfully build a hotel in Yombunjin with clean sea waters and good white sandy shore.

The building of main structures has been finished and the interior building phase is underway.

The Supreme Leader referred to the fact that the plastering of the inside hotel has not yet been finished though six years passed since the completion of its frame project.

He called for taking a decisive measure to quickly complete the construction, saying that although leader Kim Jong Il chose the site of the hotel in the picturesque Yombunjin shore and paid attention to the construction till the last moments of his life while learning about it time and again, the project has not yet been finished and that it is a very mistake to delay the construction at a time when the entire Party is concentrating all its efforts on implementing the behests of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il while taking it as the main line and as lifeline.

He indicated the construction orientation and ways to turn the Yombunjin area into a wonderful resort for the people, saying that the Party will take a step for supplying funds and materials and the North Hamgyong Provincial Party Committee should encourage the officials and builders of the province to the campaign for implementing the behests of the leader so as to build the hotel by Oct. 10 next year and make a report of loyalty to Kim Jong Il.

Saying that Yombunjin is an ideal place for the people to take cultural rest anytime as its seashore scene is unusually beautiful and it has good traffic conditions as it is located near railways, shipping lane and roads, he stressed the need to turn the area into the Yombunjin coast park of peculiar style by building more lodging quarters and service facilities of various forms and purposes in the section of more than 600 meters along the shore around the hotel.

Pointing out that the ground design for exterior of the hotel is not good and its accommodation capacity is small, he gave instructions for the central and provincial designing forces to make an overall examination of the design and redesign it in keeping with modern tastes from a new angle with their concerted efforts.

Saying that he will send professional technical forces of national institutions to help the province conduct the finishing construction of the hotel with its own efforts, he stressed that the province should strengthen and develop its designing and building forces in this course.

He said that if modern hotels with adequate communal amenities are built in Yombunjin and its vicinity as there are scenic spots and famous hot springs, the people in the province and other people from across the country would take enough rest and lead a cultural and emotional life to the full while enjoying mountain-climbing, sea-bathing, angling, river-fishing and hot-spring cure in the area.

He was accompanied by Hwang Pyong So, Jo Yong Won, O Il Jong and Kim Yong Su, senior officials of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. -0-

김정은동지께서 염분진호텔건설장을 현지지도

(평양 7월 17일발 조선중앙통신)

경애하는 최고령도자 김정은동지께서 염분진호텔건설장을 현지지도하시였다.

위대한 장군님께서 여러차례에 걸쳐 바다물도 맑고 백사장도 훌륭한 염분진에 호텔을 잘 건설할데 대하여 주신 교시에 따라 2011년 7월에 착공한 염분진호텔건설은 기본건축공사를 끝내고 현재 내부공사단계에 있다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 염분진호텔건설이 골조공사를 끝낸 때로부터 6년이 지나도록 내부미장도 완성하지 못하고있는데 대하여 지적하시였다.

위대한 장군님께서 몸소 호텔의 위치를 풍치수려한 염분진바다가로 정해주시고 건설정형을 수시로 알아보시며 생의 마지막나날까지 관심하시던 대상공사인데 아직까지 완공하지 못하고있다고,전당이 위대한 수령님과 위대한 장군님의 유훈관철을 위한 사업을 주선으로,생명선으로 틀어쥐고 총력을 집중하고있는 때에 호텔건설을 해마다 계속 조월하면서 미적미적 끌고있는것은 대단히 잘못되였다고 하시면서 결정적인 대책을 세워 빨리 완공하여야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

당에서 자금과 자재보장대책을 세워주겠으니 함경북도당위원회가 도안의 일군들과 건설자들을 수령의 유훈관철전에로 총궐기시켜 다음해 10월 10일까지 염분진호텔을 보란듯이 일떠세우고 위대한 장군님께 충정의 보고를 드려야 한다고 하시면서 염분진지구를 인민들의 훌륭한 문화휴식터로 이채롭게 꾸리기 위한 건설방향과 방도를 제시하시였다.

염분진은 바다가경치가 류달리 아름답고 철길과 배길,도로가 가까이에 있어 교통조건도 좋은것만큼 인민들이 아무때나 와서 문화휴식을 하기에 더없이 리상적인 곳이라고 하시면서 호텔건물을 중심으로 해안을 따라 600여m 구간에 다양한 형태와 용도의 해안공원숙소와 봉사시설들을 더 건설하여 이 지구를 특색있는 염분진해안공원으로 꾸려야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

호텔의 외부립면설계가 잘되지 못하고 수용능력도 작다고 하시면서 중앙과 도설계력량이 협동하여 설계를 전반적으로 검토하고 현대적미감에 맞게 새롭게 다시할데 대하여 지시하시였다.

호텔마감공사를 도자체의 력량으로 하면서도 중앙에서 전문기술로력을 보내주어 도와주도록 하겠다고 하시면서 이 과정을 통하여 도의 설계력량과 건설력량을 강화하고 발전시켜나가야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 염분진과 그 주변에는 명소들과 유명한 온천들도 있으므로 편의봉사시설들을 훌륭히 갖춘 현대적인 호텔,려관들이 건설되면 도내인민들뿐아니라 온 나라 인민들이 이 일대에서 등산과 해수욕,낚시질과 천렵,온천욕을 하며 충분한 휴식과 문화정서생활을 마음껏 누릴수 있게 될것이라고 말씀하시였다.

조선로동당 중앙위원회 간부들인 황병서동지,조용원동지,오일정동지,김용수동지가 동행하였다.(끝)

Kim Jong Un Visits Machine Factory of Ranam Coal-mining Machine Complex

Pyongyang, July 17 (KCNA) — The respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un gave field guidance to the September 1 Machine Factory under the Ranam Coal-mining Machine Complex.

He acquainted himself with the production of the factory, going round the room for education in the revolutionary history, sci-tech learning space, machine assembling ground and other places of the factory.

Praising its workers for having conducted fierce offensive to build modern buildings for production and life and spruced up the inside and outside of the factory, he stressed the need to continuously push ahead with technical updating of production processes and equipment as well as regular management of production buildings.

Going round workplaces busy with production of machines and ordered equipment, he stated that the officials, workers and technicians of the factory should intensify the creative cooperation and the mass technological innovation movement to increase the production capacity and realize the modernization and automation of machines at a high level.

It is necessary to bring science and technology close to production and work out a plan in a bold and big way and stubbornly carry it into practice at the factory and thus further consolidate its material and technical foundations so as to produce machines requiring high technology, he said.

The sci-tech learning space should be arranged better and study-while-working habit thoroughly established at the factory so that all its employees can master machine equipment and fully arm themselves with the modern science and technology to radically increase the quality of machines, he noted.

He said that the factory should pay attention to improving the supply service for employees and providing them with good material and cultural living conditions to bring about a great upsurge in production.

Saying that the factory’s duty and role are very important, he set forth the tasks and ways for developing the factory into a leading machine producer.

He had a picture taken with the officials and workers of the factory, expressing the belief that they would bring about a fresh leap in the production of high-efficiency and modern machines of various kinds urgently needed for different fields of the national economy and make positive contributions to the development of the machine-building industry of the country.

He was accompanied by Hwang Pyong So, Jo Yong Won, O Il Jong and Kim Yong Su, senior officials of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, and Ri Hi Yong, chairman of the North Hamgyong Provincial Committee of the WPK. -0-

김정은동지께서 라남탄광기계련합기업소 9월1일기계공장을 현지지도

(평양 7월 17일발 조선중앙통신)

경애하는 최고령도자 김정은동지께서 라남탄광기계련합기업소 9월1일기계공장을 현지지도하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 혁명사적교양실과 과학기술보급실,기계조립장을 비롯한 공장의 여러곳을 돌아보시면서 생산실태를 료해하시였다.

공장로동계급이 치렬한 돌격전을 벌려 생산 및 생활건물들을 현대적으로 건설하고 공장안팎을 일신한데 대하여 평가하시면서 생산건물들의 정상유지관리사업과 함께 생산공정과 설비들의 기술개건사업도 계속 힘있게 내밀어야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

기계생산과 대상설비생산의 열풍이 세차게 휘몰아치고있는 들끓는 작업장들을 보시면서 공장의 일군들과 로동자,기술자들이 창조적협조를 강화하고 대중적기술혁신운동을 광범히 벌려 생산능력을 확대하고 기계제품들의 현대화,자동화를 높은 수준에서 실현하여야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

공장에서 생산과 과학기술을 밀착시키고 대담하고 통이 크게 작전하고 완강하게 실천하여 공장의 물질기술적토대를 더욱 튼튼히 다짐으로써 높은 기술을 요구하는 기계제품들도 만들어낼수 있게 되여야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

과학기술보급실을 더 잘 꾸리고 일하면서 배우는 학습기풍을 철저히 세워 공장종업원들모두가 다 기계설비에 정통하고 현대과학기술로 튼튼히 무장함으로써 기계제품의 질을 결정적으로 높이도록 해야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

공장에서 종업원들의 후방공급사업을 개선하고 훌륭한 물질문화생활조건을 마련해주기 위한 사업에 깊은 관심을 돌려 생산적앙양의 불길이 세차게 타오르게 하여야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 라남탄광기계련합기업소 9월1일기계공장의 임무와 역할이 대단히 중요하다고 하시면서 공장을 굴지의 기계제작중심기지로 더욱 훌륭히 꾸려나가기 위한 과업과 방도들을 제시하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 공장의 일군들과 로동계급이 인민경제 여러 부문에서 절실히 요구하는 능률높고 현대화된 각종 기계제품의 생산에서 일대 비약을 일으킴으로써 나라의 기계제작공업발전에 적극 이바지하리라는 기대와 확신을 표명하시고 그들과 함께 기념사진을 찍으시였다.

조선로동당 중앙위원회 간부들인 황병서동지,조용원동지,오일정동지,김용수동지,조선로동당 함경북도위원회 위원장 리히용동지가 동행하였다.(끝)

Kim Jong Un Inspects Chongjin Shipyard

Pyongyang, July 17 (KCNA) — The respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un gave field guidance to the Chongjin Shipyard.

He went round the room for education in the revolutionary history at the shipyard. He said that its officials and workers should create new miracles and innovations in shipbuilding and glorify the undying leadership exploits of our Party by carrying forward the baton of loyalty and self-reliance recorded in the proud development course of the shipyard with great pride and honor of working at the glorious workplace visited by President Kim Il Sung 12 times and by leader Kim Jong Il 6 times.

He learnt in detail about the overall situation of the shipyard, going round the anchor chains workshop inspected by Kim Il Sungand Kim Jong Il and other production processes and shipbuilding site.

After acquainting himself with the structure and tactical and technical specifications of a newly built warship and its weapons and equipment, he boarded the warship on a trial navigation. He praised the workers of the shipyard for having successfully built the warship with excellent mobility and firepower capability to strengthen the navy by fully displaying the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance.

The Chongjin Shipyard is able to build various ships better in the future as it has a history of shipbuilding and high technology, he said, indicating detailed tasks to further modernize the shipbuilding process.

Noting with firm belief in the workers of the Chongjin Shipyard, he decided to entrust it with the building of a newly planned modern cargo-passenger ship, he said that the shipyard can easily carry out this task as it had already experienced building the ship Mangyongbong-92. The shipyard should launch and conduct the work in a bold and revolutionary way and, in this course, further develop its shipbuilding technology and put the production processes on a scientific and modern basis of higher level and thus take the lead in bringing about a great leap in the development of the country’s shipbuilding industry, he added.

He expressed belief that the officials and workers of the Chongjin Shipyard would perform shining feats in the struggle to attain the new goal set forth by the Party and creditably live up to the expectation of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee.

He was accompanied by Hwang Pyong So, Jo Yong Won, O Il Jong and Kim Yong Su, senior officials of the C.C., WPK. -0-

김정은동지께서 청진조선소를 현지지도

(평양 7월 17일발 조선중앙통신)

경애하는 최고령도자 김정은동지께서 청진조선소를 현지지도하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 혁명사적교양실을 돌아보시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 청진조선소의 일군들과 로동계급은 위대한 수령님께서 12차례,위대한 장군님께서 6차례 다녀가신 영광의 일터에서 일하는 한없는 긍지와 자부심을 안고 조선소의 자랑찬 발전행로우에 아로새겨진 충실성의 바통,자력갱생의 바통을 이어 배무이에서 새로운 기적과 혁신을 창조함으로써 우리 당의 불멸의 령도업적을 길이 빛내여가야 한다고 강조하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 위대한 수령님과 위대한 장군님께서 현지지도하신 닻사슬직장을 비롯한 여러 생산공정들과 배무이현장을 돌아보시면서 조선소의 전반실태를 구체적으로 료해하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 이날 조선소에서 새로 무은 전투함선의 구조와 전술기술적제원,무장장비설치정형도 료해하시고 몸소 시험항해도 해보시면서 조선소로동계급이 자력갱생의 혁명정신을 높이 발휘하여 해군무력을 보다 강화할수 있게 기동 및 화력능력이 뛰여난 전투함선을 잘 만든데 대하여 평가하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 청진조선소는 배무이력사도 있고 기술수준도 높기때문에 앞으로 여러가지 배들을 더 잘 만들어낼수 있다고 고무하여주시면서 이곳 조선소의 배무이공정을 더욱 현대화하는데서 나서는 구체적인 과업들을 밝혀주시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 자신께서는 청진조선소 로동계급을 굳게 믿고 새로 계획하고있는 현대적인 화객선을 건조하는 사업을 이곳 조선소에 맡길것을 결심하였다고 하시면서 이미 《만경봉-92》호를 만들어본 경험도 있기때문에 얼마든지 할수 있을것이라고,대담하게 일판을 벌리고 혁명적으로 달라붙어 한번 본때있게 해보자고,이 과정에 조선소의 배무이기술을 더욱 발전시키고 생산공정들의 과학화,현대화를 높은 수준에서 실현함으로써 청진조선소가 우리 나라 선박공업을 한계단 도약시키는데서 기치를 들고나가게 하자고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 청진조선소의 일군들과 로동계급이 당이 제시한 새로운 투쟁목표를 실현하기 위한 투쟁에서 빛나는 위훈을 창조함으로써 당중앙의 기대에 훌륭히 보답하리라는 기대와 확신을 표명하시였다.

조선로동당 중앙위원회 간부들인 황병서동지,조용원동지,오일정동지,김용수동지가 동행하였다.(끝)

Kim Jong Un Inspects Fish Farms

Pyongyang, July 17 (KCNA) — The respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un gave field guidance to the Raksan Offshore Salmon Farm and the Sokmak Atlantic Salmon Pedigree Farm run by Unit 810 of the Korean People’s Army.

He visited the Raksan Offshore Salmon Farm.

Going round the room for education in the revolutionary history and cage-net fish breeding ground, he acquainted himself in detail with the production at the farm.

It is important to create clean environment and establish a strict hygienic and anti-epidemic system in fish breeding grounds like in stockbreeding, he noted with appreciation that ten-odd settling troughs were newly arranged at rivers flowing to Raksan Bay and at waste water outlets of industrial establishments and seaweed and tangle culture grounds were built around cage-net fish breeding ground to prevent sea pollution and protect ecological environment.

He said that advanced technology should be positively introduced to put the offshore fish farming, cage-net fish farming, on a scientific and industrial basis and big efforts be directed to the work for preserving the uncontaminated ecological environment of sea on a high level so as to expand the water areas fit for breeding Atlantic salmon and produce this kind of fish in a larger quantity.

It is necessary to raise the level of putting the production of processed salmon on a scientific, automatic and modern basis, strictly ensure its hygienic safety and quality and realize its standardization, he said, adding that Atlantic salmon bred on the East Sea of Korea and processed fish should be intensively supplied to the Pyongyang Taedonggang Seafood Restaurant to improve the people’s diet.

He also toured the Sokmak Atlantic Salmon Pedigree Farm.

Going round the room for education in the revolutionary history, open-air fishing pond and other parts of the farm, he learned about its management and operation.

He highly appreciated the officials and employees of the farm for having done a lot of work through a dynamic drive for updating the farm on a high level over the last three years to carry out the tasks given by him on the spot in May 2015.

They spruced up the room for education in the revolutionary history, established an automatic control system for water recycling by computer and newly built oxygen-generating station, cylinder caisson and ultraviolet sterilizing station to increase the capability of water purification and oxygen saturation. They also rebuilt the modern fattening ground in a hygienic and anti-epidemic way to raise the survival rate of fry salmon, remodeled 54 concrete fishing ponds at 6 indoor blocks into resin ones and settled the problem of disposing waste water to decisively decrease the death rate of fish. Besides, they newly built superfine grinder, bulking feed plant and 1000-ton feed storehouse and established a system of feed production by antibiosis.

Giving appreciation of such achievements, the Supreme Leader said it is vary admirable that our scientists established a technique for preventing group death of salmon fries and thus made it possible to breed hundreds of thousands of salmon fries at sea this year.

Now it is possible to further activate the culture of salmon given the enough material and technical foundations for safety production of Atlantic salmon and the increase of the level of its scientification and modernization, he noted, expressing his great pleasure over the appearance of a promising delicious fish producer in the country.

He had a photo session with the officials and employees of the pedigree farm, expressing the expectation and belief that they would be a model of the country in implementing the WPK’s pisciculture policy by steadily adding to the achievements under the banner of putting the fish farming on a Juche, modern, scientific, industrial and intensive basis.

Accompanying him were Hwang Pyong So, Jo Yong Won, O Il Jong and Kim Yong Su, senior officials of the WPK Central Committee. -0-

김정은동지께서 조선인민군 제810군부대산하 락산바다련어양어사업소와 석막대서양련어종어장을 현지지도

(평양 7월 17일발 조선중앙통신)

경애하는 최고령도자 김정은동지께서 조선인민군 제810군부대산하 락산바다련어양어사업소와 석막대서양련어종어장을 현지지도하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 락산바다련어양어사업소를 현지지도하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 혁명사적교양실과 그물우리양어장을 돌아보시면서 락산바다련어양어사업소의 생산정형을 구체적으로 료해하시였다.

축산과 마찬가지로 양어장들에서도 깨끗한 환경을 조성하며 위생방역체계를 철저히 세워야 한다고 하시면서 락산만으로 흘러드는 하천들과 공장,기업소 퇴수구들에 10여개의 침전장들을 새로 설비하고 그물우리주변에 미역,다시마양식장을 꾸려 바다물오염을 막고 생태환경을 보호하고있는데 대하여 평가하시였다.

바다양어,그물우리양어를 과학화,공업화하기 위한 선진기술을 적극 받아들이며 오염되지 않은 깨끗한 바다의 생태환경을 높은 수준에서 유지보호하기 위한 사업에 힘을 넣어 대서양련어양어에 알맞는 적지수역을 확대전개하여 곳곳에서 더 많은 대서양련어를 생산하여야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

련어가공품생산의 과학화,자동화,현대화수준을 높이고 위생안전성과 품질을 철저히 담보하며 규격화,표준화를 실현하여야 한다고 하시면서 우리 나라 동해바다에서 양어한 대서양련어와 가공품들을 평양대동강수산물식당에 집중적으로 보내주어 인민들의 식탁을 더욱 풍성하게 해주어야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 석막대서양련어종어장을 현지지도하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 혁명사적교양실과 야외양어못을 비롯한 종어장의 여러곳을 돌아보시면서 관리운영과 경영활동을 료해하시였다.

석막대서양련어종어장의 일군들과 종업원들이 2015년 5월현지지도과업을 높이 받들고 지난 3년동안 종어장을 높은 수준에서 현대화하기 위한 투쟁을 힘있게 벌려 많은 일을 해놓은데 대하여 높이 평가하시였다.

혁명사적교양실을 정중히 꾸리였으며 콤퓨터에 의한 물재순환자동조종체계를 확립하고 산소발생장,침강정,자외선소독실을 새로 건설하여 련어양어에서 걸리고있던 수질소독 및 산소포화능력을 높일수 있게 하였으며 새끼련어의 사름률을 높이기 위하여 현대적인 비육장을 위생방역적으로 개건하고 6개의 실내호동들에 있는 54개의 콩크리트양어못들을 수지양어못으로 개조하였을뿐아니라 퇴수처리문제도 해결하여 물고기페사률을 결정적으로 줄일수 있게 하였으며 초미분쇄장,팽화사료공장,1,000t급사료창고를 새로 건설하고 병균을 막는 익생균에 의한 사료생산체계를 세워놓은데 대하여 치하하시였다.

특히 새끼련어들의 무리페사를 막을수 있는 기술을 확립하여 올해에 수십여만마리의 새끼련어들을 바다에서 양어할수 있게 한데 대하여 우리 과학자들이 정말 용타고 높이 평가하시였다.

이제는 대서양련어를 안전하게 생산할수 있는 물질기술적토대가 충분히 갖추어지고 과학화,현대화수준도 한계단 높아져 련어양어를 보다 활성화할수 있게 되였다고 대단히 만족해하시면서 우리 나라에 전망이 확고한 고급어족생산기지가 마련된데 대하여 기쁨을 금치 못하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 석막대서양련어종어장의 일군들과 종업원들이 양어의 주체화,현대화,과학화,공업화,집약화의 기치를 높이 들고 성과를 계속 확대해나감으로써 당의 양어정책관철에서 전국의 본보기가 되리라는 기대와 확신을 표명하시고 그들과 함께 기념사진을 찍으시였다.

조선로동당 중앙위원회 간부들인 황병서동지,조용원동지,오일정동지,김용수동지가 동행하였다.(끝)

AP News covered the following report, giving an on-site inspection by a North Korean leader attention that the genre usually doesn’t get internationally. I’m unable to find the term “extremely enraged” in either reports – the expression that appears to come closest is “엄하게 추궁하시였다”, meaning to “strictly press” someone on a matter, but it may be a matter of nuances in translation.

Kim Jong Un Inspects Orangchon Power Station under Construction

Pyongyang, July 17 (KCNA) — The respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un inspected the Orangchon Power Station under construction.

He exchanged greetings with the officials who greeted him, appreciating their services. He said that he came to personally learn about the situation and take measures as the project has not yet been completed although it has been more than 30 years since President Kim Il Sung gave an instruction to build the power station.

He first went round the construction site of the Phalhyang Dam.

Pointing out that only 70 percent of the project has been done although it has been 17 years since the construction started, he acquainted himself with the reason of the delayed project.

Now upper organs, in disregard of the situation of lower organs, only make a wordplay that the construction of the Orangchon Power Station is a task to be fulfilled in the period of the 5-year strategy for the national economic development, he said, pointing out that the Cabinet has only specified the project as a target project that should be accelerated with concentration of efforts in reports of its series of joint meetings or on the list of its stereotyped work plan but never taken any practical and blitz measure for economic and organizational work. He reprimanded the leading officials of the Cabinet for leaving the project to the province only and not paying attention to it.

Worse still, the officials who are responsible for the national economy make their appearances in every inaugural ceremony of power stations though they never inspected the power stations and dams when they were under construction, he added.

Noting that if the Orangchon Power Station is constructed, it will tangibly contribute to promoting the economy and people’s livelihood in North Hamgyong Province where industrial establishments are located densely, he criticized the officials of the province and county for having not sent a letter to him in connection with the situation though they were much concerned of the delayed construction of the power station which is vital and urgent for the work of the province, and for having neither worked in a far-sighted manner nor focused their effort on the construction for the mere reason that it gives no immediate benefits but requires heavy investment.

He took a revolutionary measure by giving an instruction for the Party Central Committee to provide organizational guidance to the construction of the dam and the power station by mobilizing all party organizations and members and thus complete the project by October 10 next year.

Then, he went round the Orangchon Power Station No. 5.

Watching generating equipment installed at the power station, he said highly efficient and modern generating equipment should be installed and operated in full capacity to steadily increase the production of electricity, pointing out that the power station was built with so much effort but it fails to produce electricity in full capacity.

Noting that if the loss of electricity in transmission is decreased, electricity reserves equivalent to building some new power stations will be gained, he said produced electricity should be effectively used by taking a decisive measure to decrease the loss of electricity in transmission though it may require much effort.

Noting that the builders of the power station have so far done much with pure conscience despite difficulties, whether their efforts are known or not, and the dam is growing thanks to the intense loyalty and inexhaustible strength of the builders who have performed labor feats for implementing the Party policy, he ardently called on the whole country to turn out in the general drive, keeping step with the builders.

He was accompanied by Hwang Pyong So, Jo Yong Won, O Il Jong and Kim Yong Su, senior officials of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee. -0-

김정은동지께서 어랑천발전소건설장을 현지지도

(평양 7월 17일발 조선중앙통신)

경애하는 최고령도자 김정은동지께서 어랑천발전소건설장을 현지지도하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 마중한 일군들에게 수고가 많다고 인사를 나누시며 어랑천발전소를 건설할데 대한 위대한 수령님의 교시가 계신 때로부터 30여년이 지나도록 공사가 완공되지 못하고있는 실태를 현지에서 직접 료해대책하기 위하여 왔다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 먼저 팔향언제건설장을 돌아보시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 언제건설을 시작한지 17년이 되여오도록 총공사량의 70%밖에 진행하지 못한데 대하여 지적하시면서 공사가 진척되지 못하고있는 원인을 료해하시였다.

지금 우에서는 아래실태를 외면하고 어랑천발전소건설을 국가경제발전 5개년전략기간 수행할 과업이라고 말공부만 하고있으며 고작 련석회의 보고문이나 매번 판에 박은듯 꼭같은 내각사업계획서라는데 힘을 넣어 추진할 대상이라고 목록에나 써넣고 그 문서장만 들고 만지작거렸지 실제적이며 전격적인 경제조직사업대책을 세운것은 하나도 없다고,내각의 책임일군들이 도에만 방임해놓고 전혀 관심을 돌리지 않고있다고 질책하시였다.

더더욱 괘씸한것은 나라의 경제를 책임진 일군들이 발전소건설장이나 언제건설장에는 한번도 나와보지 않으면서도 어느 발전소가 완공되였다고 하면 준공식때마다는 빠지지 않고 얼굴들을 들이미는 뻔뻔스러운 행태라고 격하게 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 어랑천발전소를 건설하면 공업이 밀집되여있는 함경북도의 경제사업과 인민생활에 크게 이바지하게 될것이라고,도사업에 사활적이고 절실한 이 발전소건설을 두고 안타까워는 하면서도 자신에게 실태와 관련한 편지 한장 써보내지 않은 도와 군의 책임일군들도 한심하다고,앞을 내다보면서 전망적으로 사업하지 못하고 당장 눈에 띄는 가시적인 성과가 없고 투자가 많이 든다고 하여 발전소건설에 힘을 집중하지 않고 차요시하고있는데 참으로 답답하다고 하시면서 엄하게 추궁하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 당중앙위원회가 전체 당조직들과 당원들을 총발동하여 언제건설뿐아니라 어랑천발전소건설을 틀어쥐고 조직지도하여 다음해 10월 10일까지 공사를 완공할데 대한 혁명적인 대책을 세워주시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 이어 어랑천5호발전소를 돌아보시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 어랑천5호발전소에 설치한 발전설비를 보시면서 힘들게 발전소를 건설해놓고 전력을 능력대로 생산하지 못하면 안된다고 하시면서 효률이 높고 현대적인 발전설비들을 설치하고 만가동,만부하를 보장하여 전력생산을 끊임없이 늘여야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

이와 함께 송배전계통에서 전력의 도중손실을 줄이면 몇개의 발전소를 새로 건설하는것과 맞먹는 전력예비가 나오게 된다고 하시면서 품이 좀 들더라도 전력도중손실을 줄이기 위한 결정적인 대책을 강구하여 생산된 전력을 효과적으로 리용하여야 한다고 말씀하시였다.

경애하는 최고령도자동지께서는 어랑천발전소건설자들이 국가사정이 어려운 조건에서도 누가 알아주건말건 순결한 량심을 묻으며 지금까지 많은 일을 하였다고,당정책관철을 위해 위훈의 구슬땀을 바쳐온 건설자들의 고결한 충정과 무궁무진한 힘에 의해 발전소언제가 쌓아지고있다고 하시면서 온 나라가 어랑천발전소건설자들과 호흡을 같이하며 총돌격전에 과감히 떨쳐나서자고 열렬히 호소하시였다.

조선로동당 중앙위원회 간부들인 황병서동지,조용원동지,오일정동지,김용수동지가 동행하였다.(끝)

All articles are sourced from kcna.kp, which doesn’t provide permanent links to individual articles.

Share

Kim Jong-un and deforestation

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

Kim Jong-un is clearly aware of, and engaged in, the forestry issue, which not least his visits in July show. North Korea’s forestry situation is dire and has vast environmental and economic consequences. He gave an interesting speech on it in 2015. Here’s a recent article by Daily NK on the role of the forestry issue, and what can reasonably be done:

Citizens of poorer countries typically focus their energy on subsistence agriculture in order to survive. In North Korea, this focus has widely occurred at the expense of environmental issues, with many in the country viewing environmentalism as a “luxury.”

However, there will likely be an increase in environmental awareness when the economy improves through reforms and opening. Increases in personal income levels will allow the population to pay more attention to and seek ways to address environmental issues.

North Korea has experienced severe environmental destruction over the past 70 years. Widespread logging has left barren vistas throughout the country, exemplifying the poor state of North Korea’s natural environment and serving as a stark reminder of the economic, technological and societal factors at play.

The Korea Forest Research Institute (KFRI) in South Korea has published satellite images showing the extent of North Korea’s environmental destruction. According to the data, forests once covered 9,160,000 hectares of North Korean territory, with 2,840,000 hectares of this forest area now destroyed. This means that 32% of North Korea’s total forest area has been wiped out, an area 46 times the size of the city of Seoul.

The regime has paid very little attention to environmental conservation and as a result the country frequently suffers massive loss of human life due to landslides and other natural disasters.

Recently, however, there are signs that the North Korean government is paying more attention to the fate of its forests. In early July, Kim Jong Un, during an on-site visit to a reed branch farm in North Pyongan Province and the Sinuiju Chemical Textile Factory, which produces paper and textiles with reeds, located around Sinuiju, commented on the insufficient supply of paper and called for support for paper companies making paper out of reeds (as opposed to wood).

North Korea’s paper industry is almost completely dependent on using pulp, which is made out of wood. Pulp is made by mixing water with wood sourced from coniferous trees. Pulp contains lignin and other elements which makes it relatively practical during the manufacturing process, but because it can easily change color it cannot be used for high-quality paper. Instead, it is commonly used for newspapers.

The Rodong Sinmun and other state propaganda materials are almost all made out of paper produced from pulp.

North Korea created the 121 Cooperative Enterprise under the management of the Korean Workers’ Party’s Financial Administration Department to produce paper for the Rodong Sinmun. This enterprise operates a network of tree harvesting companies based throughout the country that fell thousands of trees each year.

The trees are then transported from forests near the Amnok River, Chongchun River and Duman River to Kilju, Sinuiju and Anju where they are made into pulp and finally turned into paper for newspapers at the 121 Paper Factory in Anju, South Pyongan Province. Most of the wood harvested each year in North Korea is used for newspapers or other government projects and amounts to significant volumes.

The destruction of the country’s forests has increased annually and most of it is due to the activities of the North Korean government.

North Korea has recently paid more attention to the preservation of its natural environment, and a welcome sign is that the country is making more paper out of reeds than wood. However, the country lacks the technical ability to assess its own environmental issues and has not put in place the proper systems to take advantage of production methods that are cleaner and more efficient.

North Korea has long had notional policies to protect its environment. The country’s environmental protection agency was made independent from the Ministry of Security in the late 1980s and became the “Ministry of Land and Environment Protection.” In April 1998, as the rest of the government shrank in size due to the economic crisis, this ministry was expanded and turned into a full government ministry. The ministry was instrumental in helping environmental protection and management practices become more systematic through the establishment of forestry administration offices, nurseries, and forest monitoring centers under each of the country’s provincial governments.

These organizations designated a period of mass mobilization each spring and fall for citizens to plant trees and conduct activities related to the prevention of landslides and mudslides. Ironically, however, North Korea’s forests have been degraded even further despite these efforts. This is largely due to the fact that the government still relies heavily on wood products.

North Korea’s policy of self-sufficiency in the economic sphere has continued to raise the country’s dependence on wood and led to accelerating deforestation throughout the country, which in turn leads to greater destruction arising from natural disasters.

Mountainous areas and those near rivers suffer the most from deforestation. Areas without trees can experience massive mudslides, even after only receiving light rainfall.

Daily NK sources recently reported that significant loss of human life and destruction of property occurred during a landslide following rainfall near a dam construction site in North Pyongan Province. The sources said that deforestation that had occurred near the construction site was to blame.

The construction of power plants and roads typically leads to the complete deforestation of mountains nearby. The state is unable to provide the wood required for construction, and so construction workers must find a way to handle the lack of materials themselves. They have little choice but to cut down trees near the construction site.

North Korea is now focusing on the construction of massive dams as a way to increase its energy supply. This construction is leading to the deforestation of nearby forest areas.

Deforestation enacts a heavy toll on North Korea’s economy and its population is becoming more concerned about its effects. Many complain that the deforestation is damaging their own ability to lead happy lives.

North Korea is faced with a whole slew of issues: lack of energy for its citizens; the lack of economic power to deal with its environmental problems; and a planned economy that has only hampered economic development. The country must, however, implement more environmentally-friendly economic policies before further damage occurs.

The North Korean government must address the social, technological, economic and market-related factors that drive deforestation. They must also be open to assistance from abroad so that their attempts to prevent further deforestation and protect existing forests are successful.

Article source:
Kim Jong Un wants to stop deforestation, but can he?
Jo Hyon
Daily NK
2018-07-16

Share

Crackdowns in North Korea continue against “anti-socialist elements”

Monday, July 16th, 2018

By Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

The wave of crackdowns against “anti-socialist” activity in North Korea following the spring of summitry continues. The latest report by Daily NK (below) focuses on crackdowns against those breaking the economic rules in fishing villages. This all highlights a central problem with North Korea’s often ad-hoc marketization process: much of the space the state grants for economic activity beyond its reach, it can quickly take away whenever it sees fit:

While there are signs that the ‘anti-socialist’ crackdown by the North Korean authorities has slowed in recent days, sources have reported that crackdowns are still occurring in the fishing communities of North Hamgyong Province.

“There was a crackdown on a fishing company in Hamgyong Province that owned more fishing boats than it had registered with the state,” said a source in North Hamgyong Province on July 11.

“The boats that were registered with the state sent the required amount of fish to the government, while the catch from the unregistered boats was sent somewhere else. The company is getting punished for this.”

An inspection revealed that the fishing company had only 30 ships registered, but was actually operating more than 300 small fishing boats.

“The authorities are angry because they confirmed the number of unregistered fishing boats across North Hamgyong Province to be around 2,300,” said a separate source in North Hamgyong Province. “The authorities confiscated all of the unregistered boats and handed them over to the province’s major fishing enterprise. The state also ordered that all the fishing boat captains are to be replaced.”

There are still crackdowns on illegal activities in places that the authorities have designated as “problem areas.” The crackdown on the unregistered fishing boats has led to anger from fishermen in the towns.

The article also gives a clue to one of the sources of the so-called “ghost ships” that arrived on Japanese shores over the past year or so:

Locals are complaining that it is difficult for their small boats to fulfill the harvest quotas set by the government set and that the state is only focused on meeting those quotas with registered boats. Fishing boat operators contend that they risk their lives to earn a living and are being treated unfairly by the state.

“We have to catch seven tons of squid or sailfin sandfish during the harvest seasons, but we can’t catch even half of that in our small boats […] The state is calculating that the large number of unregistered boats means that fishing companies are fishing a lot and making a significant amount of money, but in fact fishing with such small boats means that we cannot catch much at all,” the second source quoted one captain as saying.

This source also stated that the crackdown has led to the firing of several fishing boat captains. “[The captains] just stare out to sea and are at a loss for what to do,” he said.

“They receive no rations from the state and are just eking out an existence. The crackdown has led to the collapse of the base of the fishing industry in the region.”

The initial source also said that captains that had purchased their own boats are unable to get any financial return on them.

“Many of them are complaining that nothing they do helps them make a living and are unsure how they will survive,” he said.

Article source:
North Korean authorities continue crackdowns in fishing villages
Ha Yoon Ah
Daily NK
2018-07-16

Share

Protests against market crackdowns in North Korea

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

Daily NK reports on increased market crackdowns following the spring summits, in two recent articles:

Under the pretext of eradicating anti-socialist elements, North Korea’s authorities are cracking down on market activity. In reaction, some residents have openly protested the country’s state security officers.

“There was an assessment at the beginning of the month regarding the broad inspections conducted to uncover anti-socialist elements in downtown Hyesan City [located near the border with China]. Residents responded by complaining at the meeting, opposing the censorship in an organized fashion because the order was not being applied equally, and was not carried out very well overall,” a source in Ryanggang Province told Daily NK on June 29.

“Residents were saying, ‘Some houses were searched very lightly, while over 10,000 RMB (~1,500 USD) in cash was taken from others.’ ‘Some people were subject to the crackdown, while others were able to evade it.’ People were openly complaining, ‘If you’re going to steal money, take it from everyone equally!’”

“Those who were out of their homes during the crackdown no doubt got the tip off from the Ministry of State Security (political police). As the crackdown approached, they prepared by taking out all the money and products from their homes and disappeared without a trace. Why did those people get special treatment while the rest of us got hit by a bolt of lightning?” she added.

Crackdowns on the marketplace have eased since the beginning of the Kim Jong Un era, leading to a surge in market activity. However, there have been intermittent measures introduced and implemented by the authorities to stunt and stifle these developments. But North Korea’s residents, taking heed from the regime’s propaganda advising them to “pick themselves up by their own bootstraps,” have come to regard commercial activity as an inherent right.

There have been many confrontations with officials from the Ministry of People’s Security (police) in this regard. However, Ministry of State Security officials, tasked with handling the ideological control of the people, were once regarded as “angels of death,” before the marketization period. But now even their power has been sapped by the changing structure of North Korean society, specifically the shifting values brought on by marketization.

“The residents were busy complaining to the Ministry of State Security agents at the crackdown assessment, saying, ‘What power do we have?’ Facing this pressure from the residents, the investigating agents declined to taken intervening measures and instead hurriedly left the room,” a separate source in Ryanggang Province noted.

Many are also upset because Ministry of State Security agents are well known to accept bribes from market traders. As levels of mistrust and anger increase, the situation is reportedly deteriorating.

Asked to describe the current atmosphere, a third Ryanggang-based source said, “Previously, when there was a crackdown coming, people would let each other know. This time, people are warning each other but also accusing each other. Making a living is difficult, and the authorities do nothing but launch investigations and confiscate money, so the people are lashing out.”

The residents are also upset about the regime’s propaganda and the fact that punishments are not being meted out evenly.

“It’s said that all the money and property seized during the investigations is being sent for construction projects in Samjiyon County, but nobody actually believes that. The Ministry of People’s Security conducted ideological evaluations of the residents after the investigation, but the residents are powerless to resist,” the initial source concluded.

North Korea proclaimed that it would launch a war of annihilation against anti-socialist behavior this year, and has strengthened its crackdown on the trade of South Korean cultural content and products that reflect capitalist culture.

Article source:
North Koreans protest unfair market crackdowns
Kim Yoo Jin
Daily NK
2018-07-03

 

And the anti-imperialist struggle goes on, to the detriment of the markets:

Following special orders given to Party cadres, the North Korean authorities have been continually emphasizing the importance of rejecting foreign culture and adhering to socialism. The policy marks a clear divergence from the leadership’s peace offensive on the international stage, and is seen as an effort to crackdown on residents, strengthen internal solidarity, and increase loyalty.

During a telephone call with Daily NK on June 27, an inside source from Ryanggang Province said, “Immediately before the US-North Korea summit on June 12, the authorities gathered the cadres and delivered a lecture to them. It was announced that as the imperialist ideological attack takes place, we need to slam the socialist door of Juche (self-reliance) shut even tighter.”

The lecture distinguished for the first time the type of behavior that denigrates socialism. It was explained in great detail which social phenomenon fell into which category.

For example, the authorities labeled as anti-socialist the practice of dyeing one’s hair and wearing decadent clothing that clouds the socialist spirit. “Inform them not to wear long socks (mesh stockings) with flowers drawn on them, or clothes with English lettering on them,” the source recounted.

“It was emphasized that, if one sells these products in the markets, all of the goods will be confiscated. In particular, women will have to pay a fine of 30 yuan (about US $4.50) if they are caught wearing skirts that ride above the knee.”

Behavior that is considered counter to socialism includes acts like criticizing the Party’s policies and the enjoyment of overseas culture. “Illegal cell phones, illegal TV shows and movies, South Korean movies, radios, South Korean songs, erotic dancing, etc. were noted. If caught associated with any of the above, residents are subject to severe punishment without trial,” a source in North Hamgyong Province said, adding that the same lectures took place in that province.

“Erotic dancing refers to the dance craze spreading around Pyongyang at the moment, which involves copying the moves of South Korean pop stars. It’s also targeted at eradicating the practice of teaching these sorts of dance classes for money.”

Both sources noted that daily emphasis has been placed on expanding the role of Group 109 [a task force dedicated to rooting out the spread of foreign media].

“Through strengthened control over residents, no capitalist elements are being allowed to step even a single foot on this land [North Korea],” the source in Ryanggang Province explained.

Asked about the reaction of the cadres, the North Hamgyong-based source said that “they feel as if they’ve been struck on the back of the head.”

“The cadres are guessing that as the international relations of the country improve, their role will be to ensure that the people remain isolated,” he continued.

“The future looks discouraging – we’ll need to live with our mouth, eyes, and ears closed.”

Article source:
Cadres told to reinforce North Korea’s seal to fight ‘imperialist ideology’
Kim Yoo Jin
Daily NK
2018-07-03

Share

Kim orders officials to study lessons from China

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

Daily NK reports on both lower fuel prices and a decree by the central authorities for provincial officials to study the lessons Kim learned from his most recent trip to China:

After returning from his visit to China (June 19-20), North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un summoned all provincial managers in the country to the capital city of Pyongyang. Sources indicate he used the meeting to explain the current status and future direction of strategic relations with China and handed down new orders on agriculture.

“After the leader [Chairman Kim Jong Un] visited China, he called into Pyongyang every provincial Party chairman and People’s Committee chairman. It seems he instructed the central Party cadres to learn from the agricultural scientific achievements that he witnessed in China,” a source in Ryanggang Province told Daily NK on June 27.

“Residents are saying that the authorities are showing special interest in agriculture because it’s the most important sector right now. Residents are sharing the thought that if they can only solve the country’s food shortage problem, they will be able to live like other strong nations.”

“Seeing as he visited China three times within a short time frame,” he added, “it’s likely that he spoke about that as well. He probably talked about how China will be useful in the new era that will focus on economic development.”

On his trip to a Chinese agricultural science center, Chairman Kim learned about advanced cultivation methods, with North Korea’s Party-run Rodong Sinmun publication providing detailed reports to the North Korean population. This can be viewed as an acknowledgment of China’s scientific excellence, as well as an effort to promote the normalization of Sino-NK ties to the domestic audience.

Following Chairman Kim’s visits, rumors are circulating among residents that “aid from China” could be in the offing.

“After the Leader’s trip to China this time, the Chinese government said that it had shouldered the burden for international train costs from [the Chinese border city of] Dandong to Pyongyang. The cost of diesel and gasoline has been declining recently, so residents are wondering whether China has been helping out,” a source in North Pyongan Province said.

The cost of gasoline per kilogram is 9,500 KPW and the cost of diesel is 6,500 KPW in the border town of Sinuiju. Compared to the beginning of the month, these prices represent a reduction of 4,500 KPW per kilogram in the price of gasoline and 1,000 KPW in the price of diesel.

Responding to the falling price of oil, the transportation and distribution sectors are showing signs of increased activity, with “servicha [vehicles used by independent operators to move people and goods for a fee] and other vehicle owners like the donju [North Korea’s new rich class] enjoying the cheaper gas prices,” he added.

As North Korea continues its diplomatic blitz, meeting with the US, South Korea, and China, the expectations of residents are surging.

“Recently, [Kim Jong Un] signed the Panmunjom Declaration with South Korea, then went to China, then held talks with America, known to be the enemy. On the domestic stage, there have been some minor changes, but residents have high expectations. We are holding these high hopes because all of these countries – South Korea, China, and the US – have very strong economies,” the North Pyongan Province-based source explained.

“The younger generation is particularly eager that they might be able to learn about the latest technology and technical skills from South Korea, China, and America. After the summit with the US, market traders have high hopes that the sanctions measures might be reduced.”

Article source:
Kim returns from China with new instructions for local Party leaders
Kang Mi Jin
Daily NK
2018-07-02

Share

The calm throughout the storm: North Korean market prices in May 2018

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

By Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

Daily NK just released their market price index for May 29th. With that, we get a pretty clear picture of the market situation for the full month of May.

So, what’s new? Not much, and that is newsworthy in its own right. Throughout the period of so-called “maximum pressure” in economic sanctions pushed by the Trump administration, North Korean market prices have, save for some months of a shaky diesel market, remained remarkably stabile. This trend continued in May.

Overall, average rice prices for May, in three North Korean cities, was 5041 won per kg. The average USD-exchange rate for the same period was 8061 won for $1. For a simple point of comparison, the average three-city rice price for late April 2017 was 4900 won/kg, and for USD, 8057 won/$1. For early June, rice cost 5228/kg, and for USD, 8026 won/$1. That prices are climbing is fully natural given that we’re approaching the so-called “lean season”, when North Korea is at the furthest point from the last harvest, and closest to the coming one.

How these relatively stabile prices are maintained is still very much a mystery. I maintain that if “maximum pressure” was truly all-encompassing, it would be very unlikely for at least foreign currency prices not to be impacted. The government may be keeping market prices stabile by adding to the supply of food and foreign exchange from their own coffers, and in the case of the foreign exchange rate, by contracting the supply of won by drawing down on credit supply to state enterprises, for example. But news of economic management at this scale would likely have been reported by at least one of the many outlets that regularly publish economic news from North Korea sourced from people inside the country. As things stand right now, there’s much we don’t know, but if the North Korean economy is truly in a crisis mode, market prices aren’t reflecting such a state of affairs.

Share

North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly Session: Economic reporting

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

By Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

On April 11th, 2018, North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament held a session in Pyongyang. Some news media has focused on Kim Jong-un’s absence from the session, but some interesting reporting on the economic situation came out of the session as well. Here are the key points on the economy (from KCNA on April 12th, with my annotation and emphasis added):

Deputy Pak Pong Ju, premier of the Cabinet, delivered a report on the fulfillment of the work of the Cabinet for Juche 106 (2017) for carrying out the five-year strategy for national economic development and its tasks for Juche 107 (2018) at the Sixth Session of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly held on Wednesday.

Last year was a year of great victory in which a great progress had been made in carrying out the five-year strategy for the national economic development under the outstanding and seasoned guidance of the respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, repelling unprecedentedly grave challenges stemming our advance, the reporter said.

According to the report, last year the Cabinet organized a drive for putting the nation’s overall economy on a higher stage with a main emphasis put on revitalizing the production by locally producing equipment, raw and other materials on the principle of self-support and self-sufficiency while focusing the state efforts on augmenting the foundation for electricity production, rounding off the system of Juche iron production and realizing the independence of chemical industry in line with the five-year strategy for national economic development set forth by the Party.

Note the emphasis here on local production, the expansion of which has been a key policy under Kim Jong-un.

The achievements made last year, a year of crucial importance in carrying out the five-year strategy for national economic development, proved once again that no desperate sanctions and pressure moves of the U.S. and its vassal forces to destroy the sovereignty of the DPRK and its rights to existence and development can ever check the progress of the Korean people dynamically advancing with firm faith in the validity of their cause and its final victory under the wise guidance of the Party and that the cause of building a powerful socialist country is sure to be accomplished.

Saying that this year we are faced with the tasks to make a breakthrough of revitalization in the economic front as a whole while frustrating the challenges of the hostile forces, who are making last-ditch efforts, through all-people offensive under the militant slogan of “Let us launch a revolutionary general offensive to achieve fresh victory on all fronts of building a powerful socialist country!”, the reporter specified them.

The fighting goals for the third year of the five-year strategy for national economic development should be attained without fail with a firm hold on the key tasks of strengthening the independence and Juche character of the national economy and improving the standard of people’s living.

The power industrial sector should put defective generating equipment into good shape and reinforce them, take scientific and technological measures for lowering the standard of coal consumption at thermal power plants and put the operation of generating equipment additionally installed at the Pukchang Thermal Power Complex on a normal track and thus increase the electricity production with the use of thermal power source onto a high stage.

The emphasis on independent electricity consumption makes a lot of sense, particularly as North Korea’s oil and fuel imports are being squeezed. But it’s a problem going back much, much further than the past year’s sanctions.

The coal industrial field should attain the monthly and quarterly coal production goals and create more coal fields so as to fully meet the demand for coal increasing in different sectors of the national economy.

Note: the national economy. The dependence on revenues from coal exports has been a problem, and one side-effect of sanctions may be that domestic industries get access to more and cheaper coal.

In the field of metal industry, Korean-style Juche-based iron making production system should be further perfected by the use of oxygen heat blast furnace and efforts be put into improving the quality of steel and diversifying the kinds of steels through introduction of advanced technologies so as to fully meet the demand for iron and steel of the national economy.

Again, national economy. Diversification is also an important and long-standing goal, and North Korea has long sought to not just export raw materials, but manufacture and sell more of end-products as well.

The field of chemical industry should unconditionally hit the fertilizer production target to timely provide nitrogenous fertilizer to the agricultural field ahead of farming processes. The production at the February 8 Vinalon Complex should be invigorated to fully supply various chemical products including vinalon, caustic soda and vinyl chloride to various sectors of the national economy.

Vinalon…Good luck.

Along with the establishment of various catalyst production bases, the construction of main production processes should be pushed forward at the Sunchon Phosphate Fertilizer Factory and the process for production of carbonate of soda with glauberite as starting raw material should be renovated and perfected.

The machine industrial sector has to step up the modernization of machine factories, unconditionally hit the target for production of tractors and trucks and put the quality of machinery on the world level.

Advanced mining methods should be widely introduced to increase the production of minerals and nonferrous metal.

The railway transport sector should ensure in a responsible manner the transportation of materials necessary for various sectors of the national economy and capital construction projects.

The Cabinet will bring about a remarkable turn in improving the standard of people’s living through production surge in the fields of light industry, agriculture and fisheries this year.

Equipment and production processes should be rearranged on a manpower-saving and electricity-saving basis, diverse and quality light industrial goods produced on a larger quantity with locally available raw and other materials, and local economy should be developed in a peculiar way with reliance on the domestic resources.

High-yielding farming methods should be positively introduced and the proportion of farm work done by machines should be drastically increased to attain the grain production goal for this year without fail.

The fisheries field should unconditionally hit the fish production target and at the same time finish the construction of projects for consolidating the material and technical foundation of fisheries ahead of schedule.

Big efforts should be directed to sprucing up Samjiyon County into a standard and model county under socialism and the construction of the Wonsan-Kalma coastal tourist area should be finished within specified date. And such capital construction projects as the Tanchon Power Station and the second-phase waterway project in South Hwanghae Province should be pushed forward.

The rate of rooting of saplings should be ensured at more than 90 percent through efficient tree planting and meticulous cultivation of planted trees and the appearance of the country be bettered through the technical renovation and repairing of highways and tourist roads in a qualitative way and the rearrangement of key rivers and streams based on an all-people movement.

All the sectors and units should solve the sci-tech problems arising in completing the domestic production of materials and equipment and the structure of self-supporting economy with firm reliance on science and technology.

The reporter stressed that the Cabinet and other state economic guidance organs would work out in a practical way an operation plan for hitting this year’s targets and push forward its implementation in a responsible manner through skillful operation and command to successfully attain the fighting goals set forth by the Party and thus fully discharge their responsibility and duty in glorifying this year marking the 70th anniversary of the DPRK as a year of victory to be specially recorded in the history of the country.

I don’t have time to add more commentary right now, but will hopefully be able to return to this later. Below is KCNA’s rendition of the state budget report on last year and this year and there’s lots of interesting stuff to discuss here:

Deputy Ki Kwang Ho, minister of Finance, made a report on the fulfillment of state budget for Juche 106 (2017) and on the state budget for Juche 107 (2018) of the DPRK at the 6th Session of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly held on Wednesday.

According to the report, last year the state budgetary revenue plan was over-fulfilled by 1.7 percent or 4.9 percent increase from the previous year.

The local budgetary revenue plan was carried out at 100.5 percent.

Last year the state budgetary expenditure plan was carried out at 99.8 percent.

15.8 percent of the total expenditure was earmarked for the increasing of the military capabilities of the country and 47.7 percent for the development of the national economy.

Investment in the field of science and technology increased 8.5 percent as over the previous year, thus contributing to settling the scientific and technological problems arising in the economic development and to accomplishing the tasks for studying ultra-modern field.

5.2 percent more fund was allocated to key sectors of the national economy and for the improvement of people’s livelihood than the previous year, thus actively promoting the drive for putting power, coal, metal, chemical, machinery and light industrial fields on a Juche basis and updating their production processes. In particular, it helped build a Korean-style oxygen heat blast furnace at the Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex and attain the goal of producing new type tractors and trucks.

2.6 percent more investment was made for the construction field than the previous year, while 36.3 percent of the total expenditure was directed to facilitating the building of a highly-civilized socialist power, thus contributing to the implementation of the Party’s policies of prioritizing the education and health care and to the development of sports and literature and arts.

According to the report, the state budgetary revenue and expenditure for this year have been shaped in such a way as to carry out the five-year strategy for the national economic development.

The state budgetary revenue envisages 3.2 percent increase over last year, of which the transaction tax, key item of the budgetary revenue, is expected to swell 2.5 percent while the profits from state enterprises is expected to grow 3.6 percent, to hold 85.3 percent of the total revenue.

The income from cooperative organizations is expected to grow 0.9 percent, the real estate rent 1.8 percent, the social insurance fee 1.2 percent, while the revenue from property sales and price differences is to grow 0.5 percent and other revenue 0.8 percent. The revenue from economic trade zones is expected to increase 2.5 percent.

The central budgetary revenue out of the state budgetary revenue stands at 73.9 percent which means that the revenue from the central economy holds an overwhelming proportion. Provinces, cities and counties are expected to balance expenditure with their own revenue and contribute lots of funds to the central budget.

The state budgetary expenditure is to grow 5.1 percent over last year’s.

An investment in strengthening the independence and Juche character of the national economy and improving the standard of people’s living will increase 4.9 percent as against last year and thus relevant fund will go to 47.6 percent of the total expenditure.

An investment in the field of science and technology will increase 7.3 percent.

Expenditure for the overall national economy including power, metal, coal, chemical and machine industries, railway transport, light industry, agriculture and fisheries will increase 5.5 percent.

The financing necessary for actively promoting the capital construction and further expanding the achievements of forest restoration campaign will swell 4.9 percent.

5.9 percent more fund will go to the education field, 6 percent more fund to public health, 5.1 percent more to sports field and 3 percent more to literature and art.

15.9 percent of the total expenditure will go to increasing the military capabilities for self-defence.

This year also, lots of educational aid fund and stipends will be sent for the children of Koreans in Japan.

The reporter said that the state budget for this year will be successfully carried out through meticulous organization of economic operation and command and thus financially back the building of a powerful socialist country.

(UPDATE 4-15-2018: Korean original for the budget report added below, date fixed above):

지난해 국가예산집행의 결산과 올해 국가예산에 대한 보고

(평양 4월 12일발 조선중앙통신)

11일에 진행된 최고인민회의 제13기 제6차회의에서 조선민주주의인민공화국 주체106(2017)년 국가예산집행의 결산과 주체107(2018)년 국가예산에 대한 재정상 기광호대의원의 보고가 있었다.

보고에 의하면 지난해 국가예산수입계획은 101.7%로 수행되였으며 전해에 비하여 104.9%로 장성하였다.

지방예산수입계획은 100.5%로 수행되였다.

지난해 국가예산지출계획은 99.8%로 집행되였다.

나라의 군력강화에 지출총액의 15.8%를 돌렸으며 인민경제발전에 지출총액의 47.7%를 돌리였다.

과학기술부문에 대한 투자를 전해에 비하여 108.5%로 늘여 경제발전에서 제기되는 과학기술적문제들을 해결하고 첨단분야의 연구과제를 완성하는데 기여하였다.

인민경제의 중요부문과 인민생활향상에 전해에 비하여 105.2%로 늘어난 자금을 지출하여 전력,석탄,금속,화학,기계,경공업부문의 주체화와 생산공정의 현대화를 적극 추동하였으며 특히 김책제철련합기업소에 우리 식의 산소열법용광로를 건설하고 새형의 뜨락또르와 화물자동차생산목표를 점령하는데 이바지하였다.

건설부문에 전해에 비하여 102.6%로 투자를 늘이였다.

사회주의문명강국건설을 앞당기는데 지출총액의 36.3%를 돌려 당의 교육중시,보건중시정책을 관철하고 체육과 문학예술을 발전시키는데 이바지하였다.

보고에 의하면 올해 국가예산은 국가경제발전 5개년전략수행의 요구에 맞게 국가예산수입과 지출을 편성하였다.

국가예산수입은 지난해보다 103.2%로 장성할것으로 예견하였으며 그가운데서 예산수입의 기본항목인 거래수입금은 102.5%로,국가기업리익금은 103.6%로 늘어나 수입총액의 85.3%를 차지할것으로 보았다.

협동단체리익금은 100.9%,부동산사용료는 101.8%,사회보험료는 101.2%,재산판매 및 가격편차수입은 100.5%,기타수입은 100.8%,경제무역지대수입은 102.5%로 늘어나게 된다.

국가예산수입에서 중앙예산수입은 73.9%로서 중앙경제에 의한 수입이 압도적비중을 이루며 도,시,군들에서 자체의 수입으로 지출을 맞추고 많은 자금을 중앙예산에 들여놓을것으로 예견하였다.

국가예산지출은 지난해에 비하여 105.1%로 장성하게 된다.

인민경제의 자립성과 주체성을 강화하고 인민생활을 개선향상시키기 위한 투자를 지난해에 비하여 104.9%로 장성시켜 지출총액의 47.6%에 해당한 자금을 돌리게 된다.

과학기술부문에 대한 투자를 107.3%로 늘인다.

전력,금속,석탄,화학,기계공업과 철도운수,경공업,농업,수산업을 비롯한 인민경제전반에 대한 지출을 105.5%로 늘인다.

중요대상건설을 적극 추진하고 산림복구전투의 성과를 더욱 확대해나가는데 필요한 자금보장을 104.9%로 늘이게 된다.

교육부문에 105.9%,보건부문에 106%,체육부문에 105.1%,문학예술부문에 103%로 투자를 늘인다.

자위적국방력을 강화하는데 지출총액의 15.9%를 돌리게 된다.

올해에도 재일동포자녀들을 위하여 많은 교육원조비와 장학금을 보내준다.

보고자는 경제작전과 지휘를 빈틈없이 짜고들어 올해 국가예산을 성과적으로 집행함으로써 사회주의강국건설을 재정적으로 안받침해나갈것이라고 강조하였다. (끝)

Share

Reforestation in North Korea

Monday, March 19th, 2018

One of the most striking differences between North and South Korea on satellite imagery is the observable difference in forest coverage. By the end of the Korean War, the entire peninsula had experienced severe deforestation. To repair the damage to the environment, South Korea launched a massive re-forestation campaign in the 1960s and 1970s (check out this South Korean propaganda video that looks like it was made in North Korea).

In the DPRK, “Tree Planting Day” was reportedly established on March 2, 1946 (KCNA made a note of it a couple of weeks ago, as it does every year). But although lip service has always been paid to reforestation, implementation seems to have always taken a back seat to other priorities (both official and unofficial) such as food self-sufficiency, mitigating famine, mitigating a shortage of heating fuel, and the need for hard currency (exported timber).

Kim Jong-il’s record on forestation seems rather limited. Despite “Tree Planting Day” and numerous annual campaigns to spruce up parks and revolutionary sites, he only visited the Central Tree Nursery twice of which I am aware (2009-10-2 and 2011-10-9) towards the end of his life. The nursery, however, did see some growth in the last years of his leadership:

The day after KJI’s visit to the tree farm in 2011, KCNA reported that work was being done at provincial level to promote reforestation (2011-2-10):

Provincial tree nurseries are being updated into bases for the mass production of saplings of good species.

The nursery in Pyongyang built a room for disseminating science and technology and the production process of the paper humus-pot equipped with modern facilities.

The nursery of South Phyongan Province newly made tall sapling production base covering at least 100 hectares and built the humus-pot production base. It is cultivating more than 800,000 saplings of dozens of species.

The nursery of North Phyongan Province completed nine construction projects including the 100-odd square meter grinding and mixing ground.

Jagang Province is pushing ahead with the construction of the nursery of the province with a humus-pot factory of hundreds of square meters, greenhouse, hostel and other public service facilities at the final stage.

The advanced sapling production technology has been introduced to cities and counties across the country.

Hundreds of millions of trees were planted in mountains of the country during the period of national mobilization for improving land administration in spring this year.

Kim Jong-un, however, has placed a high priority on reforestation. Here is an article from the March 2018 issue of Korea Magazine:

I have identified nearly 400 new tree farms and forest management stations that have been built in the DPRK since Kim Jong-un took over as leader. These facilities have been regularly featured in the official media. The effort appears to be driven by the Forestry Bureau (산림총국) under the Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection (국토환경보호성), however, the military is playing a significant role as well. The largest tree farms of which I am aware are the Central Tree Nursery (pictured above), Kangwon Provincial Tree Farm, and the Tree Nursery 122 of the KPA.

Despite the obvious proliferation of tree farms and tree planting, I could not remember coming across any significant satellite imagery showing successful reforestation projects taking root (pun intended)—until now. Pictured below is a satellite image of the area south of the town of Singye in North Hwanghae Province that contains evidence of at least five reforestation sites:

Site 1 (38.480039°, 126.524338°): Image date (Top): 2014-3-20, Image date (Bottom): 2017-11-29


Area 2 (38.477669°, 126.537321°): Image date (Top): 2007-10-4, Image date (Bottom): 2017-11-29


Area 3 (38.487852°, 126.541397°): Image date (Top): 2015-8-16, Image date (Bottom): 2017-11-29


Area 4 (38.495523°, 126.554775°): Image date (Top): 2012-11-8, Image Date (Bottom): 2017-11-29


Area 5 (38.493341°, 126.541830°): Image date (Top): 2007-10-4, Image date (Bottom): 2017-11-29


Some analysis and implications: These reforestation projects are probably not the only ones in the area, they just met the minimum standard of proof to show there was an active reforestation project going on in Singye. There are no doubt many more like this throughout the country, though I have not looked to see how other areas compare. This is the first time I remember noticing on Google Earth that forest cover was growing in North Korea in any significant way (They have also been planting trees along the railroad tracks for several years, but that is not reforestation).

All of these projects are on hills, and this makes sense from a forestry perspective (keep the mountains from eroding into the riverbeds). However, in North Korea many of the hillsides are being used for agriculture. In the images above it is unclear if the hillside plots are under the purview of cooperative farm production quotas, or if they are one of several kinds of “private plots” that farmers use to supplement their diets/income. Either way, the growth of forest cover means a reduction in farm-able land, and this is likely going to have some significant effects on land allocation politics at the local level.

As forest cover grows under the national plan, cooperative farms will have to reallocate a smaller number of land parcels among a fixed number of workers. If the forests grow to reclaim land from private plots, farmers who had grown accustomed to their hillside property will have to figure out how to share remaining land with their neighbors, or move to another location. I imagine both of these processes can get messy, and perhaps the reforestation project is receiving mixed reviews at the local level (depending on its effects on individual farmers).

This forestation policy also raises questions with regards to food supply and the growth of the informal economy in North Korea, but these questions are beyond the scope of this humble blog post. Maybe later…

NOTE: I have published some of the blog post below in Radio Free Asia (in Korean) here. The RFA article contains additional reporting that is not part of this blog post, and some of the information in this blog post may not be in the RFA article.

Share

“Maximum pressure” and the North Korean economy: what do market prices say?

Friday, March 9th, 2018

By Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

With the news today about a summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump tentatively planned for the end of May, there has been much debate about the role of the US policy of “maximum pressure” through economic sanctions.

The efficacy of the policy is difficult to evaluate, particularly since it often takes many months or even years for the full effect of sanctions to play out. Whether the policy has been effective or not depends on, well, how you judge success or failure. There is little doubt that North Korea’s exports have taken a significant hit not primarily from the sanctions themselves, but from China’s enforcement of them. This is the single biggest difference between how sanctions have hit the North Korean economy during the past year, versus previous years. It seems fairly indisputable that sectors of the economy have suffered, with export industries taking the biggest hit.

But what has been the impact on the economy as a whole? It’s difficult to say, but we have two important indicators: prices of rice and foreign currency on North Korean markets. The data on these two indicators is far from perfect, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to draw firm conclusions from it. (For an explanation of this data, and the rationale for using rice prices in lieu of the formal goods basket used to measure inflation in other countries, see this article, for example). Nevertheless, neither of the two indicators suggest a situation out of the ordinary on North Korean markets during the period that “maximum pressure” has been applied.

First, a look at rice prices. If sanctions were truly devastating the North Korean economy, there is a whole host of reasons why one should expect rice prices to increase.

One of them is expectations of worse times to come as importing inputs for agriculture as well as food becomes increasingly difficult. Another is that if importing food products in general* becomes more difficult, perhaps because Chinese traders anticipate that their North Korean counterparts won’t be able to pay, consumers would be expected to switch more of their consumption to domestically sourced goods, increasing demand and thus prices. In general, anxiety about worsening times often leads to inflation.

This does not seem to have happened. In fact, rice prices have been remarkably stable over the past year (if the graph looks strange, click for full image):

There may well be other forces at work, too. Increased smuggling of cheaper Chinese rice, for example, may well have contributed to the price stability. But this is in itself a sign of the resiliency of the North Korean economy; when some supply decreases, there are ways of compensating through other means.

Exchange rates are another important metric. If the inflow of foreign currency (in this case US dollars) decreases, its price – the exchange rate – should go up. Expectations matter here, too: if the market expects that foreign currency supply will dry up in the future, it tends to act in the present and make purchases today to hedge for tomorrow. As with rice prices, exchange rates have been remarkably stable over the past year (again, click for better image):

In sum, we have little or no hard evidence that the North Korean economy, on the whole, has suffered significantly and harshly from sanctions thus far. That may itself not be an argument against sanctions, since again, it may take much longer than just a year for their full impact to play out. But it does call into question the claims that “maximum pressure” is the chief reason for Kim Jong-un’s outreach to Donald Trump.

*This likely holds true regardless of the level of self-sufficiency in North Korea’s agricultural production.

Share

North Korean markets insulated from sanctions, but not forever

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Posted by Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

Analysis at Daily NK:

In 2017 alone, the United Nations Security Council passed four major sanctions resolutions against North Korea: Resolutions 2356, 2371, 2375, and 2397. Under the measures, the North’s crude oil imports were restricted, and coal and mineral exports were banned. Additionally, the North was prohibited from sending its laborers to work abroad – one of the key ways in which the regime earns foreign currency.
“One cannot say that, on a macro level, sanctions against North Korea have been ineffective,” said Lee Seok Ki, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET). “Since around August or September of 2017, the North’s exports have dropped significantly, and we have seen a major impact from sanctions on their industrial output. The country’s anthracite (coal) exports are down 66% compared to the previous year, which is a devastating hit to their mining sector, and the trend is expected to continue.”
Lee added that while most indicators point to declining imports, it remains difficult to conclude that sanctions have had the same effect on the North Korean manufacturing sector. Despite this, Lee noted that “sanctions are having an effect on the trade sector and we will continue to see both quantitative and qualitative effects in the long term.”
Other experts support the opinion that sanctions are working against the North’s overall trade. “North Korea’s exports to China are down 37%, which has led to a further 1.8% drop in growth for the North’s economy over the last year,” said Kim Byung Yeon, a professor at the Department of Economics at Seoul National University.
“If the North is unable to get sanctions lifted, the growth rate for their economy could drop to as low as minus 5% in the next year,” Kim added, explaining that the effects on economic growth will be significant due to the structure of the North’s economy and the relatively high proportion that exports contribute to it.
Kim said that citizens working in the trade sector have been most affected by sanctions, though he points to the government as taking the most damage. “Most trade has been conducted by state-owned and party- or military-run companies, meaning that the elite class and government officials take a big hit from sanctions,” Kim said. “Kim Jong Un relies heavily on trade as a source of income (for his regime), which means that the person most impacted by sanctions is none other than Kim Jong Un.”
But while sanctions appear to be having a significant effect on the North’s trade and industry, experts are noting that the local markets in the country have not been affected as heavily.
“When you look at the price of rice or the exchange rate over time, it’s hard to see any major effect of sanctions (on local markets),” KIET researcher Lee said.
Daily NK’s own research has come to the same conclusion, finding that the price of rice in North Korea’s markets has remained steady at around 4,000 to 5,000 KPW per kg since the beginning of the recent surge in international sanctions.
“People have been relying on themselves, actively participating in the markets and smuggling since the end of the Arduous March (great famine of the 1990s), which means that sanctions do not yet seem to be having an effect on the markets,” said a source in North Hamgyong Province, pointing to the steady availability of consumer goods as evidence.
“Kim Jong Un has instituted improvements in the quality of domestic-made goods, leading to these products in many cases pushing out Chinese versions from the markets,” said Lee Geun Young, Professor at the Yanbian University Department of Political and Public Administration. “There are now fewer items being brought in from China, so these products are having less influence on market prices.”
However, experts also believe that the damage inflicted by sanctions will inevitably reach the markets. “It’s not easy to precisely predict when the effect of sanctions will reach the markets,” Professor Kim said. “But one thing is clear: because many items rely on some form of importation, the long-term effects of a continuing decline in trade will inevitably lead to a reduction in the volume of available goods and a decrease in consumer purchasing power.”
Article source:
North Korean markets insulated from sanctions, though not forever
Jang Seul Gi
Daily NK
2018-03-07
Share