Monday, 15 December 2008





Discourse Published in Rodong Sinmun, Organ of the Central Committee of

the Workers’ Party of Korea , and Minju Joson, Organ of the DPRK Government

September 5, Juche 97 (2008)

In this historic period, when we are entering a golden age of national prosperity under the Songun-based revolutionary leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea, we will be greeting the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , the glorious country of Kim Il Sung.

The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung was the founder of the DPRK and the father of socialist Korea , and he is the eternal President of State. The founding of the Republic under his leadership brought about a fundamental change in the shaping of the destiny of our country and its people.

Guided by his Juche-oriented philosophy on State building, and under his seasoned and sophisticated leadership, our Republic has been established and developed as a genuine country of the people, as a Juche-oriented socialist country, the first of its kind in history, and our people, who were oppressed and maltreated for centuries, have become able to enjoy, in the embrace of the Republic, the pride and happiness of a genuine life in which they exercise full rights as masters of the State and society.

The mountains and rivers, which are getting more and more beautiful with each passing day, the vast expanses of farmland, the urban and rural areas, the streets and villages, the defence lines and frontline posts that have been built up to be impregnable, and the many factories, enterprises, economic and cultural establishments and monumental structures, all bear the imprints of President Kim Il Sung’s great and sacred leadership; and every aspect of the most dignified, prestigious and fulfilling life that our people are enjoying generation after generation, century after century, is associated with his benevolent, fatherly affection and solicitude.

As we greet the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Republic, our Party members, service personnel and people solemnly look back upon the great revolutionary career and immortal revolutionary exploits of President Kim Il Sung, who devoted his whole life to the country and the people, and bestow on him the highest gratitude and glory. The immortal exploits he achieved for the country and the people constitute the eternal cornerstone of our country and revolution and an unshakable foundation on which to build a great, prosperous and powerful socialist country and carry forward and accomplish the Juche revolutionary cause.

By holding President Kim Il Sung in high esteem as the Sun of Juche, and developing his philosophy on and exploits in State building, our Party is opening up the road of building a thriving country in the Songun era, the road of fresh victory for our revolution. Thanks to our Party’s leadership and advance in the Songun-based revolution, our Republic has risen as a Juche-oriented socialist State with invincible political and military might, demonstrating its prestige and dignity. Our Party members, service personnel and people are now firmly determined to glorify, in answer to the Party’s call, this meaningful year as a year of historic change that will be recorded in the history of the country and to accomplish, under the banner of Songun, the successful building of both a great, prosperous and powerful socialist country and the Juche revolutionary cause.


The 60-year history of our Republic is a history of great struggle and victory, a history of great creation and transformation, in which, braving the tempest of the revolution under the leadership of the great leader and the great Party, the independence and honor of the country were defended and a thriving socialist country was built.

Our Republic, in the whole period of its history from the first days when the foundations for State building were laid up to the present, when we are building it up into a great, prosperous and powerful socialist country, has followed a road covered with victory and glory, braving unprecedented difficulties and trials amid a sharp confrontation with the imperialist forces of aggression. Our struggle to build a new country, a new society, has been grim and arduous, as we have had to overcome every manner of hardship. However, our country blazed a trail in accomplishing the cause of anti-imperialist independence, the cause of socialism, and created historic miracles in this course, thus accumulating great and imperishable exploits and valuable experiences. This is why the 60-year history of our Republic has come to shine with such brilliance and our socialist country, Songun Korea , to demonstrate such prestige and dignity today as the citadel of independence, the bulwark of socialism.

The anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle the great leader organized and led was a historic struggle that laid the basis for the founding of our Republic and ushered in the era of socialist State building.

It was a sacred, patriotic struggle to defeat the Japanese imperialist aggressors, who had occupied our country by force of arms, and liberate the country, and the fiercest of revolutionary wars fought against the heavily-armed Japanese imperialist aggressor forces.

The great leader led the 20-year bloody struggle against Japanese imperialism and crowned the anti-Japanese war with victory, thus accomplishing the historic cause of national liberation. In the flames of the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle he put forward the policy of building a people’s government, accumulated valuable experience in this regard and created our glorious revolutionary traditions, which are the eternal wealth of the country and the revolution.

The struggle of our Party and people to build an independent and sovereign State on the land of our liberated country was conducted in very complicated and difficult circumstances and conditions. Owing to the US imperialists’ occupation of south Korea , the country’s territory was divided into two, and the imperialist and reactionary forces at home and abroad resorted to every manner of vicious scheme to thwart our Party and people in their efforts to build a new country.

President Kim Il Sung established the people’s power and regular revolutionary armed forces that inherited the traditions of the anti-Japanese revolution and, by enlisting the high patriotic enthusiasm of the liberated people and all other patriotic forces, laid solid foundations for the building of an independent and sovereign State through democratic reforms in the northern half of Korea, thus frustrating the schemes of the imperialist and reactionary forces.

On this basis, he founded our Republic.

He wisely led the work of strengthening the power organs, developing the people-oriented State and social system of the Republic and bringing its advantages and vitality into full play in all areas of State building.

The Fatherland Liberation War against the armed invasion of the US imperialists was the first and grimmest trial faced by our young Republic; it was a fierce war that would decide the fate of the country and nation. The US imperialists made desperate efforts to crush our Republic in its cradle, hurling into the war a huge force of their own aggressor army and of their 15 vassal States , as well as the latest military hardware and other means of waging war, only to suffer ignominious defeat.

Under the leadership of President Kim Il Sung, the ever-victorious and iron-willed brilliant commander, our soldiers and people turned out as one in the just Fatherland Liberation War and fought in a self-sacrificing manner, giving a full demonstration of their unparalleled mass heroism at the front and in the rear. Consequently, they defeated the US aggressor armed forces that had been boasting of being the “mightiest” in the world, defended the freedom and independence of their country with honor, encouraged the oppressed peoples of the world in their anti-imperialist national liberation struggle, and made a great contribution to safeguarding world peace.

The historic victory of our Republic in the Fatherland Liberation War was a clear testimony to its invincible might, to the strength of our State and social system, to the confidence of our army and people in sure victory, and to their indefatigable fighting spirit. It also demonstrated that no force can conquer a people who have taken their destiny in their own hands and are united solidly behind their party and leader. For its victory in the war, in which it shattered the myth of the US imperialists being the “strongest” and inflicted a crushing defeat on them for the first time in the world history of war, our Republic won a worldwide reputation as a heroic country, its army as a heroic army and its people as a heroic people.

Not only did our Korea , the land of Juche , emerge victorious from the military confrontation with the formidable imperialist aggressor forces, but it also worked miracles and made innovations in the ensuing postwar reconstruction, socialist revolution and socialist construction. Starting from scratch on the war debris, we achieved epoch-making development in the revolution and construction.

Under the seasoned leadership of President Kim Il Sung, our country completed its postwar reconstruction in a matter of just a few years and carried out the cooperative reorganization of the rural economy and the socialist transformation of private trade and industry perfectly in the Korean style and without any deviation. In response to the call of the leader, our people embarked on the grand Chollima march in the spirit of taking ten or a hundred steps when others were taking one, thus effecting a great revolutionary upsurge that was unprecedented in socialist construction. Through the gigantic struggle to create and construct socialism, our country, having been backward for centuries, emerged as a most advantageous and powerful people-centered socialist country, a socialist power, that is independent in politics, self-supporting in the economy and self-reliant in defence, a country called Chollima Korea, a model for socialist countries throughout the world.

The Songun era, a new era in the Juche revolution, occupies a special position in the history of our country and revolution.

It is a great era of the Juche revolutionary cause in which the ideas, leadership and cause of President Kim Il Sung are inherited and carried forward, and it constitutes a new, higher stage in the development of our country and revolution.

Long ago our Party put forward modeling the whole society on the Juche idea as its ultimate program, and it has held fast to it as the basic line in building the Party, the State and the army, true to the noble idea of President Kim Il Sung.

It concentrated all its efforts on building and developing the Party, the State and the army as the Party of the leader, as the State of the leader, and as the army of the leader, and on remolding man and transforming society and nature as required by the leader’s revolutionary idea, the Juche idea, thus laying strong foundations for carrying out the cause of modeling the whole society on the Juche idea.

In the 1990s the situation took a sudden turn, and grim trials and hardship, the rigors of which were unprecedented in history, were laid in the way of our country and revolution. Taking advantage of the collapse of socialism in several countries, the imperialists and reactionaries clamored about the “end of socialism,” directing the spearhead of their attack against our Republic, which was holding high as ever the banner of socialism. Their anti-DPRK, anti-socialist maneuvers put the sovereignty and right to existence of our country and nation at jeopardy; our country was turned into a theatre of the fiercest confrontation between socialism and imperialism and our people found themselves at a crossroads, where remaining as an independent people lay in one direction and becoming colonial slaves once again in the other.

To cope with the prevailing situation, our Party raised high the banner of Songun, under which it frustrated every scheme of the imperialists and reactionaries against the DPRK and socialism by dint of our invincible political and military might, thus safeguarding the sovereignty of the country and nation and our style of socialism with honor. It is a great victory of international significance for our small country to have defended itself, its nation and its socialism in single-handed confrontation with the US-led imperialist reactionaries. Our country has, without firing a shot, registered one victory after another in its political and military confrontation with the US imperialists, facing down and smashing the aggressive moves of an enemy that had been behaving in a high-handed and arbitrary manner in every part of the world. These achievements of our Songun-based revolution are literally a miracle.

In spite of the grim trials we have faced in the struggle to defend socialism, we have achieved tremendous development in all spheres of politics, the military, the economy and culture.

Thanks to the Party’s Songun-based revolutionary leadership, our country has occupied the position of a politico-ideological and military power, paved the way for building a great, prosperous and powerful nation and brought about a fresh turn in the revolution and construction. Our Republic has now secured a fundamental guarantee for building a great, prosperous and powerful socialist country and accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Juche, and it is stepping up the general march of the Songun revolution for building the country into a socialist economic power.

Socialist Korea, which is winning victories and displaying its might by dint of Songun, has become a beacon of hope and a banner of victory for the people of the world who aspire to independence.

The 60-year history traveled by the Republic under the leadership of President Kim Il Sung and our Party, instills in our people the deepest pride and self-confidence and hardens their faith in sure victory.

Our army and people prize their Juche-oriented socialist country more than their own lives, love it infinitely and are working more vigorously to defend and add luster to it, their motherland.


A great leader and a great party build a great nation.

If a leader and a party are great, their country, even though it may be small and once backward, can become a developed and dignified, powerful one.

The greatness of a leader and a party is precisely the greatness of their ideology and leadership. Our Republic has been able to rise as a Juche-oriented socialist State with invincible might because it is guided by the Juche idea that was authored by the great leader and because it embodies this idea fully in State building and State activities under the leadership of our Party.

The immortal Juche idea is a man-centered outlook on the world, and an ideology of independence; it is a great guiding ideology of our era that sheds scientific light on the way of championing and realizing the independence of the masses and of the country and nation. Our Republic, which incorporates the great Juche idea in its State building and State activities, is a people-centered socialist country in which the people are regarded as God, an independent socialist State with a strong Juche character and national identity, and an invincible socialist power that prevails over any enemy, however formidable, and overcomes every manner of trial and hardship by dint of Songun.

Our Republic is a genuine people’s country, a people-centered socialist State that upholds the masses of the people as the masters of the State and society, and serves them.

Although the masses of the people are the driving force of social history, it is not true to say that their position and role are always identical in any society or country. Never before in history has there been a country like our Republic that guarantees the position and role of the masses at the highest level by embodying the doctrine “The people are my God,” which was President Kim Il Sung’s dictum.

This philosophy is permeated with the noble love for the people that is expressed in upholding the masses of the people as the most valuable and powerful beings in the world, serving them faithfully and solving everything by relying on them.

The dictum “The people are my God” is our Party’s fundamental principle in State building and the basis of all its lines and policies, as well as the starting point of the activities of the State.

Everything in our Republic–the socialist system of the State and society, the Socialist Constitution and other State laws, as well as all the lines, policies and activities of the Party and the State–is geared to defending and ensuring the independent rights and interests of the masses.

The basis of socialism is the people. Our politics, which regards the interests of the people as the foremost concern, is genuine socialist politics and the politics of infinite love for and trust in the people, that is, noble, benevolent politics.

Every line and policy of our Party and the government of our Republic reflects the opinions and demands of the masses and is successfully implemented by their voluntary zeal and struggle. In our country, promoting the people’s well-being is regarded as the supreme principle in the activities of the Party and the State, the slogan “We serve the people!” is fully incorporated in State activities, and the infringement of the people’s interests and lording it over them by the abuse of authority and bureaucratic behavior are never tolerated.

Since the masses of the people are regarded as the most valuable beings, the State, the army, the public security organ, many monumental edifices and various honorary titles are named after “people,” and this is a powerful symbol of the people-oriented character of our State, our system and our politics.

Our people, who hold the position of masters of the State and society in the embrace of the people-centered socialist country, are enjoying a worthwhile and fulfilling life and performing their responsibilities and roles as such.

Each of them takes part in the exercise of State power and State administration with equal rights and leads a valuable political life in a particular political organization. The State bears responsibility for the people’s livelihood; all the people study to their hearts’ content, promote their health and enjoy a revolutionary cultural and recreational life that is full of optimism thanks to the systems of free education and medical care and various other people-oriented policies.

Now our Party and State, despite the strained conditions in which everything is in short supply, are concentrating all their efforts on stabilizing and improving the people’s livelihood, with their primary attention focused on it, and stepping up the building of an economically powerful socialist country so as to ensure in the near future that our people live a rich life with no reason for envying anyone in the world. The independent and creative life our people are enjoying in the embrace of the Republic is a genuine human life, dignified, worthwhile and happy, which is something unimaginable in a capitalist society.

Our Party and our Republic are the most affectionate motherly party and motherly country that lead the people and take care of them with love and trust, and their embrace constitutes the cradle of the genuine life and happiness of the people.

For this reason, our people have sacrificed themselves in the defence of their country, their motherland, and, firmly united behind the Party, waged a heroic struggle for its prosperity, invariably trusting and following our Party and the government of the Republic both in days of glory and in days of grim trials.

The single-hearted unity of the whole society constitutes a priceless achievement in State building that could only be made by our socialist country under the leadership of President Kim Il Sung, who was endowed with love for and trust in the people, and of our Party, which faithfully carries forward his ideas and will. This is the proud face of our society, the like of which cannot be witnessed elsewhere in the world. Based on the relations of revolutionary comradeship, and the inseparable blood ties by which the Party and the leader boundlessly love and care for the people and the latter absolutely trust and loyally support the former, the single-hearted unity of the leader, the Party and the masses was formed and has developed despite the complicated and difficult circumstances and conditions, and the whole society has become a great harmonious family in which its members help and lead one another forward.

Today our single-hearted unity has been further strengthened at a new height of unity in which the entire Party, the whole army and all the people are joined together rock-solid, centered on the revolutionary leadership and based on one ideology and faith, comradely love and revolutionary obligation.

No force can break its great unity. Our single-hearted unity is the fundamental guarantee of the strength of the socialist system and social stability in our country, the inexhaustible source of the invincible might of our socialist motherland and the powerful driving force of the victorious advance of the revolution and the building of a thriving nation.

The US imperialists are most fearful of the single-hearted unity of our entire army and the people behind the great Party, and resort to every conceivable scheme to break it. While persisting with their aggressive military maneuvers, the US imperialists and their acolytes try to slander us under the signboard of “human rights” and “democracy,” but this is wild dream. The “defence of human rights” and “democracy” the imperialist reactionaries advocate are nothing other than sophistry to hide their intervention in and hegemonic moves towards other countries. It is preposterous to slander our Republic, which is the motherland of the people, and our society that is united single-heartedly, with such far-fetched sophistry. It only serves to trigger the unanimous indignation of our people, and can never be tolerated.

This country of the great people, this people-centered socialism of our own style, which enjoys the absolute support and trust and ardent love of the masses, will forever add brilliance to its noble image and dignity, overcoming every manner of trial.

Our Republic is an independent socialist State that absolutely maintains its Juche character and thoroughly preserves its national identity in its development and activities.

The Juche character and national identity are the independence and lifeline of a country, a nation and the masses of the people. The struggle of the masses for independence is waged with the country and nation as a unit, so the party, the government and the masses of each country should conduct the revolution and construction independently and creatively as masters.

It is only when they hold fast to the Juche character and national identity and maintain the line of independence in the revolution and construction that they can defend the sovereignty of the country and nation, guarantee their independent development and realize the independence of the masses successfully.

Having put forward such original ideas on the Juche character, the national identity and the line of independence for the first time in history, President Kim Il Sung blazed the trail for the independent development of the Korean revolution and guaranteed, by dint of his iron faith and will and seasoned leadership, that the principle of Juche, the line of independence, was maintained consistently in the revolution and construction.

True to his idea of State building, our Party and State regarded preserving the Juche character, the national identity and the line of independence as the fundamental principle in accomplishing the cause of the masses’ independence, the cause of socialism, and strictly adhered to it, and thus built our country into a highly dignified and prestigious independent country, a socialist State embodying noble love for the people and nation.

We have solved all the problems arising in the building and activities of the State and in the revolution and construction by our own efforts and in our own way on the principle of self-reliance, in accordance with our ideology and faith, our determination and will and the actual situation in our country, and in line with the interests of our revolution. By holding fast to the principle of Juche, the principle of independence, in all fields of politics, the economy, military affairs, culture and external relations, we have resolutely opposed great-power worship, dogmatism and all other ideas advocating dependence on outside forces, and categorically rejected any form of intervention and pressure by the imperialist reactionaries and other foreign forces.

We are also doing everything we choose and decide in conformity with our own ideology, demands and interests, regardless of the existing theories or formulas, and despite what others may say.

Our Party long ago put forward the slogan of “Let us live our own way!”; this is Juche, independence and self-reliance, and herein lie our dignity, pride and honor.

President Kim Il Sung, based on the Juche stand, shed a fresh, scientific light on the essence of the issue of the nation and its position and role in social development and, on the basis of this, linked class character with national identity, and the destiny of socialism with that of the nation; thus he made it possible to preserve the national character in the revolution and construction while maintaining the class character and to open up a vista for achieving the prosperity of the nation while advancing the socialist cause.

Our Party and State treasure and preserve the nation’s identity in the revolution and construction and in all fields of social life in line with President Kim Il Sung’s Juche-oriented idea and theory on the issue of the nation. Since a man is a member of a class and at the same time a member of a nation, he embodies a national identity along with a class character and entertains national demands along with class demands. If the national identity and national demands are neglected and suppressed, it will be impossible to rally the broad sections of the masses and other patriotic forces, build a truly independent and sovereign State, or successfully carry out the cause of the masses’ independence, the cause of socialism.

Ours is a proud nation with a time-honored history of 5 000 years and a brilliant culture. Reflected in our people’s national identity are their nation’s resourcefulness, talents, firm character, patriotic spirit and outstanding cultural traditions.

Our Party and State have made valuing and preserving the excellent and beautiful traditions of our nation a major policy, and have fully implemented it.

While preserving the excellent features of our nation that have been handed down throughout its history, we are creating new excellent features of the nation along with the advance of the times and the revolution; on the basis of this, we are educating the people in the Korean-nation-first spirit, the spirit that our leader, our Party, our ideology and our system are the best, and adding brilliance to the greatness of our nation.

The socialist cause of Juche is a cause for realizing the independence of the working class and other working masses and at the same time a cause for guaranteeing the independence of the country and nation and achieving the nation’s prosperity.

Our Party and State have, while stepping up socialist construction, enriched the excellent qualities of the nation and added a new chapter of national prosperity to history.

Because we properly maintained the Juche character and preserved the national identity of the revolution and construction under the leadership of the great leader and the great Party, no form of intervention or pressure from the imperialist reactionaries could cut any ice with us, no modern revisionism or other ideological trend towards opportunism could make inroads into our country, and our people have been able to cherish a uniquely high level of national pride, self-confidence, consciousness of national independence and self-respect, and give fuller play to the spirit of socialist patriotism.

Our Republic, which has developed under the banner of the Juche idea, is demonstrating its pride in being a people-centered socialist country that fully embodies class and revolutionary principles, and at the same time, a socialist State, independent, self-supporting and self-reliant in defence, strong in the Juche character and national identity, and the genuine motherland of the whole nation. Our Juche-oriented socialist motherland has stood firm amid the worldwide great political cataclysms, and will win victory after victory by following the road of development, the road of Juche, as ever.

The imperialist reactionaries are now slandering our Republic, the motherland of Juche, claiming that it is “closed” and “isolated,” and are making futile attempts to lead us to “reform” and “openness.”

Our country has never closed its doors, and it maintains good relations with many countries, home to billions of people, around the world, based on mutual respect. As for reform, we reformed the outdated social system in a revolutionary fashion decades ago, and have been constantly creating the new and renovating what is old and backward. In actual fact, the imperialists and reactionaries are hostile towards our country and are blockading it and trying to isolate it.

The “reform” and “openness” they are advocating represent a move to destroy and put down our style of socialism. Such moves will only worsen their relations with us and are doomed to failure.

Our Republic is an invincible socialist power that demonstrates its dignity by dint of Songun.

The history of the revolutionary activities of President Kim Il Sung and our Party is the history of Songun-based revolutionary leadership, and our country and revolution have traveled a road covered with victory and glory by displaying their invincible might under the banner of Songun.

President Kim Il Sung liberated the country by dint of Songun and guaranteed its sovereignty, independence, prosperity and development by force of arms. True to his Songun idea and line, our Party has, since long ago, grasped military affairs and Party work as the key, and concentrated its efforts on strengthening our revolutionary armed forces politically, ideologically, militarily and technically, thus laying a firm foundation for developing its Songun-based revolutionary leadership at a new, higher stage.

The Songun-based revolutionary line, Songun politics, that our Party is pursuing now, is a great revolutionary line of our era, the basic mode of socialist politics, that gives top priority to military affairs over all other affairs of State, that safeguards the country, the revolution and socialism by strengthening the Korean People’s Army to the maximum, and that builds up the driving force of the revolution and pushes ahead with socialist construction with the army as the core, as the main force. With regard to the system of State administration, we ensured that the authority of the National Defence Commission was strengthened and a system was established whereby the Commission guides and administers defence affairs overall, so that all work in the revolution and construction was conducted strictly on the principle of giving precedence to military affairs.

Our Songun politics, because it is rooted in the Juche idea and fully embodies and encompasses the Juche-oriented principles, strategy and tactics of the revolution and its methods and art of leadership, is the ever-victorious banner of our country and revolution and an all-powerful sword in the revolution and construction.

The paramount strength of a nation rests with its military might. Our anti-imperialist, anti-US struggle is waged fiercely on all fronts of politics, the military, the economy, ideology and culture, and the main front that decides the destiny of the country and nation is the anti-imperialist military front. The confrontation with the imperialist aggressive forces is, in essence, a showdown of strength, and strength alone can make sense in relations with the imperialists. Without our own strength, our own powerful self-defensive military might, we can neither win the fight against the imperialists, nor defend the Party and the State, nor guarantee the safety of the people.

This is the stark reality of today.

By dint of its Songun-based revolutionary leadership, Songun politics, our Party has strengthened and developed the Korean People’s Army as the army of the Party and the leader, as the invincible revolutionary armed forces, both in name and in reality.

The monolithic leadership system of the Party, the command system of the Supreme Commander and revolutionary military traits have been firmly established in the People’s Army, and the entire army–from the Supreme Commander down to the rank and file–now forms an integral whole based on revolutionary comradeship. All the men and officers of the People’s Army, cherishing an unshakable ideology and faith, constitute an invincible armed force that has acquired a mastery of our style of strategy and tactics and is equipped with up-to-date military hardware.

Our Juche-oriented defence industry has become able to produce every type of powerful state-of-the-art weaponry and military hardware and means, and the spirit of giving importance to military affairs has been established throughout society, with the result that the work of arming all the people and fortifying the whole country is proceeding at a higher phase.

Thanks to the Songun politics, our Republic has frustrated all the challenges of the imperialist reactionaries and all their schemes to isolate and stifle it, and demonstrated its invincible military might to the world, and our socialist country, Songun Korea , has risen as a world-class military power that no aggressor dares to attack.

As a result of the Songun-based revolutionary leadership, Songun politics, of the Party, the politico-ideological position of our Republic has been made rock-solid, and great progress has been made on the economic and cultural fronts. On the road of Songun our army and people have successfully achieved great unity–oneness of ideology and work style on the pattern of the revolutionary spirit and the work style of the soldiers–and the politico-ideological might of the country and the revolution has been enhanced beyond any comparison.

Under the Party’s Songun-based leadership the army and the people have carried out all their undertakings in socialist construction in a revolutionary and militant manner by forming an integral whole, and have in this way implemented grand projects to transform the appearance of the country, build numerous monumental structures, develop science and technology by leaps and bounds, and usher in a new golden age of culture and the arts of the Songun era.

Thanks to our Songun-based policy of national reunification and the concerted efforts of the nation, the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration (2000) and the October 4 Declaration (2007) were adopted and made public, and this opened up an epoch-making phase in the reunification of the country.

The national spirit for reunifying the country independently has been raised to an unprecedented height in the north, the south and abroad, and the movement for national reunification is developing as a nationwide movement under the banner of “by our nation itself.”

Our Songun politics, which stands against the imperialists’ policies of invasion and war and for the independence of the country and nation, arouses great sympathy among the progressive peoples of the world and greatly contributes to global peace and the cause of mankind’s independence. Our Songun politics and independent foreign policy have made it possible to raise the prestige and influence of our Republic to an unprecedented level in the international arena and to develop its external relations rapidly.

Under the leadership of President Kim Il Sung and our Party the DPRK was built and developed into a Juche-oriented socialist State with invincible might and achieved world startling victories and changes by overcoming every manner of historical challenge. The glorious country of Kim Il Sung, socialist Korea, that shines with brilliance by dint of Juche and Songun, is displaying its might as a great socialist country, and for this it is warmly loved and held aloft by our people as their great motherly country, is highly regarded by all Koreans as the pride and honor of the whole nation and as the fortress of national reunification, and is attracting the attention and admiration of people the world over.


Our Republic has traveled a long, long revolutionary path under the unfurled banner of the Juche idea, the banner of Songun, but our revolution is yet to be accomplished.

We must build a great, prosperous and powerful socialist country on this land and realize the cause of national reunification through the great unity of the whole nation. We must make proactive efforts, shoulder to shoulder with all countries and progressive peoples that aspire to independence, to defend world peace and accomplish the cause of human independence.

To build a great, prosperous and powerful socialist country true to President Kim Il Sung’s lifelong wish is a sacred duty our Party and State have assumed before the times and the revolution. Under our Party’s Songun-based revolutionary leadership, the whole Party, the entire army and all the people must, with firm confidence in victory, step up with vigor the general march of the Songun-based revolution towards building a great, prosperous and powerful country.

We must, first of all, build up the political and ideological position of our socialist country.

The might of socialism is its political and ideological might, and consolidating the political and ideological position of the socialist country is essential for building a great, prosperous and powerful country. In keeping with the development of the revolution and construction, we must conduct ideological work proactively so as to display to the maximum the inexhaustible spiritual strength of our soldiers and people and give fuller play to the dignity of socialist Korea as a political and ideological power.

We must intensify education in the Juche idea, the Songun idea, among cadres, Party members and other working people, so that they can work and live in a revolutionary and militant fashion as befits revolutionary people of the new era of the Juche-oriented revolution, the Songun era.

We must give them in-depth and effective class, revolutionary, socialist and other forms of education so as to ensure that they are imbued with high class and revolutionary awareness, a firm conviction in socialism and the spirit of socialist patriotism.

We must consolidate the single-hearted unity of the revolutionary ranks so that it is like steel. The core of our single-hearted unity is the leadership of the revolution. All cadres, Party members, soldiers and people must defend the leadership of the revolution politically and ideologically even at the risk of their lives, in the spirit of performing death-defying deeds in defence of the leader. All the men and officers of the People’s Army and all the people must be united more solidly around our Party in ideology and purpose, morality and obligation, and loyally support its ideas and leadership.

Single-hearted unity is the great foundation of our revolution, and public sentiment is the great foundation of our single-hearted unity. We must fully understand the public sentiment and work effectively with people so as to constantly strengthen the single-hearted unity of our revolutionary ranks.

We must remain vigilant against the enemy’s attempts to shatter our political and ideological position and undermine our single-hearted unity, and deal resolutely with them. We must wage a strenuous struggle to frustrate the maneuvers of the imperialists and reactionaries to infiltrate us ideologically and culturally and wage a psychological smear campaign against us, and we must intensify the ideological campaign in such a way as to prevent every element of the bourgeois ideology and way of life, however insignificant, from infiltrating our country.

We must continue, under the banner of Songun, to invest great efforts in strengthening the country’s defence capabilities. Its defence capabilities represent the sovereignty of Songun Korea , its right to existence, and its authority, dignity and destiny. It is only by continually strengthening our defence capabilities that we can defend the security of the country and people and provide the decisive military guarantee for building a great, prosperous and powerful socialist country.

The People’s Army is the main force of our revolution and the core force of our national defence. In our Songun politics, military affairs are given top priority and enhancing the People’s Army is the key element.

What is most important in strengthening the People’s Army is thoroughly to establish the monolithic leadership system of the Supreme Commander, his command system, in the army.

The entire army must loyally support its Supreme Commander’s ideas and leadership, share its destiny with him and move as one under his orders and instructions.

We must enhance the People’s Army’s political, ideological, military and technical preparedness. The People’s Army must intensify the political work of the Party so as to ensure that all service personnel acquire political and ideological traits befitting the army of the Party and the leader, the army of the Supreme Commander, and it must give fuller play to the traits of unity between men and officers based on revolutionary comradeship.

The soldiers and the people must share life and death on the road of Songun under the leadership of the Party, and consolidate their great unity. By carrying out Party policy on training, all service personnel must train themselves into a-match-for-a-hundred combatants who are well versed in our particular strategies, tactics and art of warfare and who can skillfully apply them in actual combat.

The armaments and other equipment of the People’s Army must be modernized constantly based on the latest science and technology.

The men and officers of the People’s Army, fully aware of the importance of the duty they have assumed before the Party and the revolution, the country and the people, must make the defence lines of the country impregnable and play a vanguard role in socialist construction.

An atmosphere must be created in which military affairs are given importance throughout society, and then all the people must learn military affairs earnestly and the entire Party, the whole country and all the people must make thorough preparations to cope with any emergency and, by building ever-stronger defences, turn the whole country into an impregnable fortress.

We must build our country into an economically powerful State by stepping up socialist economic construction.

Today economic construction is at the forefront in the building of a great, prosperous and powerful nation. Only by building our country into a socialist economic power by accelerating economic construction can we further strengthen the political and military might of Songun Korea , make it rich and strong and radically improve the people’s standard of living.

We have set ourselves the ambitious goal of opening the gate of a great, prosperous and powerful country in 2012 when we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung. If we are to achieve this goal, we must bring about a new revolutionary turn in socialist economic construction, and thus strengthen the country’s economic might and solve once and for all the problem of the people’s living. The entire Party, the whole country and all the people must turn out to launch a general economic construction offensive.

In order to bring about a revolutionary turn in economic construction, we must thoroughly implement the line of economic construction for the Songun era put forward by the Party. As demanded by this line, we must give priority to the development of the defence industry and develop light industry and agriculture simultaneously so as to effect a drastic turn in improving the people’s standard of living.

Giving precedence to the vanguard sectors of the national economy, the basic industrial sectors, is the key to developing the defence industry, light industry and agriculture quickly and simultaneously. We must concentrate nationwide efforts on these sectors so as to shore up the power, coal-mining and metallurgical industries and rail transport, and thus open wide the road of advance in building an economically powerful country.

By carrying out the Party’s line of attaching importance to science and technology, we must push forward the frontiers of cutting-edge science and technology and raise the country’s science and technology to a high level. All sectors of the national economy must proactively push ahead with the modernization of factories and enterprises as required in the IT age and based on the latest science and technology.

We must improve the management of the socialist economy. In economic management it is essential to strictly observe socialist principles, to apply the method of collective management correctly, to strengthen the central and coordinated guidance of the State and, on the basis of this, to give full play to the creativity of the lower units. We must enlist all potential and all the latent resources to the fullest and effectively on the principle of self-reliance and thus step up the building of an economic power by drawing on our own efforts, technology and resources.

We must comprehensively develop education, the health service, art and literature, and all other fields in the building of socialist culture. We must train revolutionary talents in greater numbers and more qualitatively and give full play to the advantages of the people-oriented public health system by improving educational and public health work, and also bring into fuller bloom Juche-oriented art and literature, the art and literature of the Songun era.

We must, by vigorously stepping up the general march of the Songun revolution, build a great, prosperous and powerful socialist country on this land and thus achieve a decisive victory in carrying out the cause of President Kim Il Sung, the socialist cause of Juche.

Reunification is the supreme task of the Korean nation, and it brooks no further delay. The Korean nation, which continuously handed down its tradition as a homogeneous nation throughout history, has been divided into north and south for over 60 years. We must reunify the country at the earliest possible date, and thus put an end to the tragic history of national division and pave the way for the coordinated development and prosperity of the country and nation.

The banners that our nation must hold up in achieving the independent reunification of the country are the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and October 4 Declaration.

These declarations are declarations of national independence and great national unity and great programs for national reunification. The standpoint and attitude towards these historic declarations constitute a standard by which to distinguish collaboration from confrontation, reunification from division between north and south. Whoever earnestly desires national reunification must support these declarations and implement them faithfully.

The basic ideal of national reunification as stated in the declarations is “by our nation itself,” and this is, to the core, the ideal of national independence, the ideal of national unity. All the compatriots in the north, the south and abroad must achieve national unity on the principle of national independence and frustrate all the maneuvers of the anti-reunification forces and accomplish the cause of national reunification without fail through the united efforts of the Korean nation itself.

We must make vigorous efforts to expand and develop the country’s external relations and realize global independence.

The government of our Republic must conduct its external activities briskly in accordance with the ideals of independence, peace and friendship and as required by the changing situation, so as to increase the number of supporters of and sympathizers with our revolution and create an international environment that is favorable for building a great, prosperous and powerful socialist nation and achieving national reunification. By strengthening friendship and unity with all countries and all progressive peoples who aspire to independence, we must wage a vigorous struggle to frustrate the war policy and hegemonic moves of the imperialist aggressive forces, defend peace and realize global independence.

In order for our Party and State to fulfill their mission and duty before the times and the revolution, it is important to strengthen the government of the Republic and enhance its role.

We must carry out President Kim Il Sung’s ideas and theories on State building and our Party’s line of State building in the Songun era, and thus continuously develop the government of the Republic.

The government of the Republic, based on the lines and policies of the Party, must consolidate and develop our State and social systems and forcefully push ahead with all the work of the revolution and construction.

The people’s government organs and their officials must fulfill their missions and responsibilities and perform their duty as the servants of the people by achieving further improvement in their style and method of work, as required by the times and the developing revolution.

The Workers’ Party of Korea is the supreme leading political organization in our society, and its leadership is the basic guarantee of all the victories of the country and the people. We must firmly establish the monolithic leadership system across the Party, further consolidate the unity and cohesion of the Party, build up its ranks organizationally and ideologically, improve the functions and role of its organizations, and thus enhance its organizing ability, fighting capacity and might in every way possible.

We must ensure comprehensive leadership by the Party over the revolution and construction. We must establish the Party’s monolithic leadership across society so as to ensure that all types of work in the revolution and construction are conducted on the basis of the lines and policies of the Party and in accordance with the ideas and intentions of the Party. In particular, Party organizations must give the people’s government organs effective political guidance, in other words, policy-based guidance, and render them active support in order to help them fulfill their mission and duty.

Our Republic is a great achievement of the Juche revolution, and the government of the Republic is a powerful weapon in the revolution and construction. The government of the Republic must step up the revolution and construction with greater vigor under our Party’s Songun-based leadership, and thus accomplish the cause of President Kim Il Sung, the revolutionary cause of Juche

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The Fascist “National Security Law” Must Be Repealed at Once!

The Fascist “National Security Law” Must Be Repealed at Once!

- On the 60th year of the fabrication of the law -

The National Security Law” which was fabricated in south Korea on December 1, 1948, under the pretext of the so-called “national security” was notorious throughout the world as the worst evil law.

It is the most anti-nation, anti-democracy and anti-reunification law unprecedented in the world in terms of its contents.

The law designated north Korea of fellow countrymen as “enemy state” and stipulated that all regions, organizations and communities and their members related to the “enemy state” are “anti-state region”, “anti-state organization” and “member of anti-state organization”.

The NSL is stemming the free visit, contacts and dialogue between the north and the south.

According to this evil law, if the southerners visit the north they are subject to the “crime of infiltration and escape”, if they have contacts, dialogue and correspondence with the northerners, to the “crime of meeting and communications”, if they receive, listen to or accept the assertions of the north, to the “crime of praise and encouragement”, if they provide conveniences to the north, to the “crime of offering conveniences”, if they don’t notify such acts, to the “crime of no-notification”, and are harshly punished up to death.

And the NSL is an anti-democracy and anti-human rights evil law that represses the righteous struggle of the south Korean people for democratization of the society and national reunification.

So the law cracks down upon the progressive forces and the patriotic people fighting for democratization of the society and the reunification as the “leftist forces”, and the progressive parties and organizations as “anti-state organizations”.

It scathingly tramps upon the people's elementary rights such as freedom of assembly, demonstration, organization, speech and press.

The NSL is a very cruel fascist evil law in terms of punishment regulations.

In comparison with other criminal laws the NSL sets very sever punishments, so if anyone was incriminated by the “crime of forming an anti-state organization” he or she is usually sentenced to death or imprisonment for life.

By force of this fascist evil law many progressive organizations were forcibly disbanded and many democratic personages and pro-reunification patriotic fighters were executed for the last 60 years.

The Lee Myong-bak group which recently took power in south Korea follows in the footsteps of the successive fascist dictators to extensively strengthen the suppression bodies such as prosecution and police, and employs the ill-famed NSL to indiscriminately arrest many progressive personages and patriots who have called for national unity and reunification, supported the June 15 joint declaration and the October 4 declaration, and devotedly fought to implement them.

Even worse, it atrociously cracked down on the candlelit struggles of the people for their right to existence.

The abolition of the heinous “National Security Law” is the demand of the June 15 independent reunification era and the unanimous call of the entire nation.

On November 30, a rally was held in Seoul under the theme “60 years of National Security Law, let us put a stop to its disgraceful history. For a world without the NSL. Let us repeal the NSL”.

It was participated in by members of various civic organizations including the People's Solidarity to Abolish the NSL, the South Headquarters of the National Alliance for the Country’s Reunification, the south Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, the South Korean Council of Youth Organizations and the Lawyers for Democratic Society.

The participants denounced the Lee Myong-bak clique for strengthening the fascist regime in reliance on the NSL which is no longer needed in the June 15 reunification era, and called for repealing the evil law chanting such slogans as “Abolish the NSL!”, “Let us check the security-oriented suppression!” and “Set free the prisoners of conscience!”.

The AINDF and the patriotic people in south Korea will smash the Lee clique’s moves of confrontation with the north and fascistization through the vigorous struggle and ostracize the ferocious anti-nation and anti-reunification NSL from this land for good.

Appraisal of South Korean Media on Six-month Ruling

of Traitor Lee Myong-bak

On the occasion of 6-month lapse since traitor Lee Myong-bak took office, south Korean media including the “Ryunhap News”, “Gyeonghyang Sinmun”, the daily Hankyereh and “Maeil Gyeongje” carried all at once commentaries on the fiasco of his internal and external policies, and its prospects under such titles as “Limit of the Bulldozer-like Leadership”, “the Worst Trial of the Pragmatic Diplomacy for National Interests” and “He Never Set His Hand to the reform for Fear of Candlelight”.

Some points to be marked;

- The media appraised his administering of “state affairs” an all-out failure.

The media indicated that though Lee Myong-bak set about administering the “state affairs” his support rating declined to 10% point for his cabinet consisting of the rich, irresponsible coping with the economic crisis and the humiliating decision of importing American beef in disregard of the people's sentiment in domestic policy and, in external affairs, the “diplomatic security” of south Korea is mired in overall crisis by its failure to adopt a chairman-statement at the foreign ministers meeting of the Security Forum of the Asean Area, Japan’s claim of dominium over Dok Islet and the alternation of the naming of the dominium over Dok Islet by the US Denomination Committee.

They denounced that as a result Lee Myong-bak was forced to apologize twice before the people in a bid to appease the public anger during his six-month tenure of office.

The media pointed out that such consequences resulted from his governing in a unilateral way obsessed with excessive narcissism and hubris, and appraised that his 6-month ruling in chaos bereft of the people's support was “six months of confused leadership” and “series of terrible failures.”

- The media commented that the major “policy commitments” he made during the presidential elections were all repealed in face of the opposition of different social standings.

They indicated that the “project of the grand Korean Peninsula canal” and the “proposal of intensified English education”, much touted in his early days, were cast into dustbin by the people's rejection before they were publicly discussed, his “7, 4, 7 commitment” boiled down to an unrealistic pipedream and the “economy resuscitation plan” such as alleviating the restrictions on estate transactions and businesses, strengthening the agricultural and fishery competitiveness and reforming the public sectors and activating foreign investments lost their kernel and were renamed and even not passed in the “parliament”.

And his slogan to revitalize the people's livelihood by creating new jobs was condemned as a “rosy catchword” and his “diplomatic and security strategy” called “Myong-bak doctrine” is bound to the overall change of the “diplomatic and security officials” and all-out revision of the “diplomatic and security policy” due to the repeated failures of his external and north Korea policy.

The media attributed the main cause of this to the fact that he set up groundless goals far from the reality and to his wrong policy judgment, denouncing his ruling as “more instable situation for the wrong objectives” and “six months that completely lost the propellant for state affairs”.

- The media presaged that the prospect of the Lee Myong-bak regime will get gloomy.

The media noted that Lee Myong-bak clamored about a “low carbon, green growth”, pursuing the “people's living-first policy” and “observing the law and principles” and tried to break through the crisis straightaway by offensive administration.

However, the media said, he failed to alleviate the disappointment of different social strata evinced at the candlelit actions, and the ideological antagonism and the policy discord between the progressives and conservatives.

And it is as clear as noon day that the economic stagnation as grave as to be called the second economic crisis would persist, and the resistance of the opposition parties and dissidents to his offensive administration and pro-business policy such as the reform of public sectors and easing different sorts of restrictions would get fiercer.

The media predicted that it is still uncertain whether the people's sentiment would U-turn and the “state affairs” would get back on right track since he faces lots of difficult problems and he was bound to depend on the US and Japan in handling the issue of the deteriorating inter-Korean relations, nuclear issue and the Dok Islet dispute.

They presaged that if Lee Myong-bak enforces the “state affairs” in a coercive way again neglecting the mindset of the people who held up the candlelight he would face bigger crisis inevitably, asserting that from now on a calmer judgment will follow on his policy pursuit.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Imperialists' Despicable Scheme to Lead DPRK to "Reform" and "Opening" Flailed

Imperialists' Despicable Scheme to Lead DPRK to "Reform" and "Opening" Flailed
Pyongyang, November 21 (KCNA) -- "Reform" and "opening" touted by the imperialists are a reactionary plot to block social progress and stem the trend of history and a sinister move to destabilize and undermine other countries under the signboard of "globalization" in a bid to attain their hegemonic purpose, says Rodong Sinmun Friday in a signed article.

The article says: The imperialists are using "reform" and "opening" as pretexts for political pressure, economic sanctions and blockade, while putting them up as preconditions. They have gone the lengths of crying out for "reform" and "opening" when dealing with humanitarian issues in a bid to make humanitarianism a plaything for their political bargaining.

What should not be overlooked is the pressure put by them upon the DPRK to accept "reform" and "opening" despite its firm adherence to the socialist principle.

They are groundlessly accusing the DPRK of opting for "isolation" and "closure", not "reform" and "opening". This is nothing but sheer sophism which can be uttered by those who distort reality and make profound confusion of right and wrong.

As far as reform is concerned, the DPRK transformed the old social system in a revolutionary manner decades ago and it has carried on a steady renovation drive to get rid of everything old and backward and create everything new.

As for opening, the DPRK has always kept its door open. The DPRK has boosted foreign relations since it identified independence, peace and friendship with the avowed basic idea of its foreign policy.

The imperialists are unilaterally admonishing and pressurizing other countries to opt for "reform" and "opening" while not transforming their outdated social system and unpopular system though they are vociferous about "reform" and "opening". What a brigandish behavior.

The ulterior aim sought by the imperialists and their followers in pressurizing the DPRK to opt for "reform" and "opening" is to bring down its socialist system and restore the capitalist system in it.

Their moves to destabilize and undermine Korean-style socialism centering on the popular masses through "reform" and "opening" will never work on the DPRK but are bound to go bust.

The people of all countries aspiring after independence should clearly see through the reactionary and dangerous nature of the imperialists' scenario to lead them to "reform" and "opening" and react to them with vigilance.

People Called upon Not to Harbor Illusion about Imperialism

People Called upon Not to Harbor Illusion about Imperialism
Pyongyang, November 15 (KCNA) -- Only when people bolster national power, weathering manifold difficulties by their own efforts, not harboring any illusion about imperialism, can they emerge victorious in the struggle against imperialism and exalt the dignity of their country and nation, says Rodong Sinmun Saturday in a signed article.

The U.S. and other imperialist forces are working hard to let other countries harbor illusion about them, after learning that they can not easily bring those countries to their knees with strength only although they have modern weapons and combat equipment, the article says, and goes on:

They are also craftily scheming to quell people's hatred against imperialism, anti-imperialist sentiment mounting in various regions of the world by creating illusion about it.

If one harbors illusion about imperialism, taken in by such scheme, this will entail miserable consequences.

Illusion about imperialism may become a factor of inviting a war.

The imperialists are leaving no means untried to appease and deceive anti-imperialist and independent countries. They absurdly claim that they will give "aid" and "economic cooperation" to those countries if they accept brigandish demands raised by them to force the countries to disarm themselves.

The historical lesson teaches that if one makes one-step concession in face of coercion and appeasement policy of the imperialists, one will be compelled to make ten and a hundred-step concessions and, finally, leave everything to the tender mercy of the imperialists.

The imperialists perpetrate military intervention and war without any hesitation if they are sure that anti-imperialist and independent countries are unable to counter them after those countries are disarmed. To harbor any illusion about imperialism is a suicidal act of inviting a war.

If one has illusion about imperialism, one can neither augment national power nor defend the dignity of the nation.

The imperialists' persistent pressure upon anti-imperialist and independent countries to accept the policy of "reform" and "opening" while showing off their money bag is aimed to completely neutralize their national power and reduce them to neo-colonies.

By doing so the imperialists seek to create illusion about them and put the whole world under their domination and control.

If one harbors illusion about imperialism, one will become an idiot and the country and the nation will meet ruin.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Irina Malenko
Translated from Spanish by Jenny James
(previously translated from the original Russian)
It's not easy to convey first impressions of a visit to the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, especially because little time and energy were left after each day's intensive cultural programme during my stay there. It's a long time since I had such a busy programme during a journey - I would have to go back to the times of the Soviet Union! At that time our travels were also undertaken with the objective of getting to know as much as possible of new and unknown parts of the country in the short time we stayed there, not in order to get drunk and end up groggy or spend all day lying around like modern “tourists” do in the capitalist world.
I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit this country. Not everyone has this honour.
When I was getting ready for the journey, I told a Russian acquaintance of mine that soon I would be going to Korea. "To the normal one, or to the North?" she asked me, doubtless thinking that her comment was very funny. But is it actually funny that our people are being taught not to think for themselves and just repeat in a servile parrot-like fashion everything that is translated for them from the Western press by our so-called journalists?
Perhaps it is not 'normal' that the streets should be clean?
That you can walk around them safely by day or night?
That at nighttime they are not filled with the shouting of drunks, and that people don't soil the doorways?
That people can be completely happy without bars, casinos and brothels?
Perhaps it is not 'normal' that everyone gets up happily in the morning and with a sense of their own dignity goes to work without the fear of ending up redundant because of some workforce 'restructuring'?
Perhaps it isn't normal that shops should sell only what people need for their daily lives, and not loads of gadgets specially designed to suck as much money as possible out of their pockets?
Perhaps it's abnormal that the children should do sports, music and drawing, that they should help the grown-ups instead of begging, cleaning the cars of the rich or hanging around in corners sniffing glue, taking drugs and delighting in their own degradation? Perhaps it's abnormal that the children, even the very youngest primary school kids, can go alone to school without any danger or risk from being taken away by paedophiles or run over by drunken Mercedes drivers?
Is it abnormal that on TV, there are no stupid games, adverts or sex with violence?
Or that there are no homeless people and that people are not indifferent to the fate of the others? Or that there is no fear that you won't be able to pay your bills on time? Or that in the shops they sell goods made in one's own country? And so on, endlessly.....
If people really think that everything described above is abnormal, then our whole society urgently needs to visit a psychiatrist.
And then there are those who yell to heaven that a society which has all that described above is deprived of some mythical 'freedom'. If all that isn't freedom, then what is? The right to have the chance to choose between things or people which in practice bear no substantial distinguishing features one from the other? What is there to be gained from this 'choice', either for oneself or for society in general? Does this result in there being fewer homeless people, fewer hungry people, fewer dead from drugs or alchoholism? Do the children get a better education? Does a better future await them? Are there more jobs? Fewer orphans relegated to orphanages or fewer old people left alone? I don't think so...
I am not a sentimental person, more on the hard side. But I was nearly in tears, literally, good, happy tears, at seeing what I saw in Pyongyang. Anyone who says this is a 'poor country' has not seen real poverty. If you want to see that, come deep into the heartlands of Russia, where old people mill around picking through the garbage. Or to countries which are members of the civilized European Union, like Bulgaria and Rumania. Or even to part of the part of the prosperous kingdom of Holland, the island of Curacao.
It's a long while since I felt as calm and relaxed as I did in DPRK. In the streets I see normal people, well dressed, modest, working, happy with their lives, people who like to laugh at a good joke and who live a rich cultural life which is not within reach of the majority of the population in Western countries, people who in no way resemble the fanatical robots the Western press describes them as.
And as for tourists who say they feel 'restricted in their freedom' or who find DPRK 'boring', well why don't they just go to any place like Spain or Turkey and get drunk till they're sick if that is the only thing they find entertaining, and not besmirch this beautiful country with their presence.
Part 1: "We are not jealous of anyone."
Once you have crossed the frontier between China and DPRK, the countryside changes as if by magic: instead of craggy mountains covered in trees with grey smoky cities dotted amongst them, suddenly there appear through the train window bright green of fields of rice, carefully divided one from another by rows of potatoes and maize.

Korea is a mountainous country, so there isn't much land for agriculture, and one gets the impression that here, every possible bit of it is planted and cultivated, including the hill-slopes where they grow maize and various types of vegetables in terraces which are at times at such steep angles it is impossible to imagine how the farmers manage to climb up there. Obviously, tractors in such parts are useless. So the land is worked by hand with the help of oxen. In the fields there is literally not a single weed, not even in those furthest from the roadways. Perfect fields.
What terrible stories we are told nowadays in the bourgeois press about DPRK! There is no sense in repeating all of them, just open any paper: "In Pyongyang they forbid people to hang curtains in their windows so they can know what is going on in the houses," or "in North Korea, public executions are carried out just for using a mobile phone" (of course we are not told who is executed or where or when these executions are carried out, nor, naturally, the sources of such 'information'). Just as in earlier times, according to the same press, in the USSR we didn't have trade unions, women only went to work because their husbands couldn't feed them, and women and children were 'socialized' by the evil Bolsheviks...
From the first moment in DPRK, I did not get the feeling of being in an impoverished dictatorship of the godforsaken 'Axis of Evil', as the 'democratic' press would have us believe, but rather I got an impression of constant celebration!
It is exactly 30 years since I saw similar lines of trees with their whitened trunks along the roadsides. The trams and trolley-buses here are much newer and cleaner than those in my 'democratized' home town in Russia and there is not a single broken seat. No-one writes rude words on the walls, either in the native language or in English. Right up to the present day, it is possible to swim in the rivers and drink spring water (something that really surprised the Western Europeans in our group) and the tap-water in Pyongyang can be drunk without any need to boil it first.
Pyongyang is a very green city. It's like one big park. Along its streets are mainly willow and poplar trees. There is a lot of water: two rivers flow through the city, forming islands in the middle. And for the first time in my life I saw modern multicoloured buildings several storeys high which are really nice-looking, original and different one from another!
As I already said, people in the street are well- and neatly dressed, and with good taste. Actually, many of them wear rubber boots when it rains, but there's nothing surprising in this. No-one throws rubbish in the street and so no waste-bins are to be seen. That reminds me of a poster on the wall in one of the dining rooms in Soviet times: "Cleanliness comes, not from cleaning a lot, but from not getting things dirty in the first place!"
The first thing that agreeably surprised us in Pyongyang was the silence and tranquility of the night-time. In contrast, early in the morning, you awaken to the sound of the street sweepers keeping the roads clean. Pyongyang is perhaps the cleanest city in the world. And during the course of the day, you see here and there people, including schoolchildren, who help to keep the city clean. Certainly, this pertains not only in the capital, we saw the same thing in the provinces, and also in the villages. Children plant flowers along the roadways and soldiers work in the fields with oxen and ploughs. Can you imagine a more peaceful scene?
Here no-one walks around carrying dozens of bags (if something heavy has to be carried, it is carried on the back in a rucksack) The faces of the people are friendly and jovial. There is little traffic in the streets (we mustn't forget the problems this small country has with energy supply, abandoned to its fortune by its chief allies and friends, and still it is capable of surviving and continuing, not only maintaining its independence, but developing itself in spite of all adversity). Many people go by foot, or by bicycle, they engage in sports and physical work, and for this reason practically no-one suffers from obesity. I think of what things are like in this respect where I live now ... One out of every four children in Ireland is overweight. And as for the adults, now they show on TV the following advert: "Please move yourself, even for half an hour a day! That would be enough to maintain a healthy life-style..."
By the way, as regards electric energy, in DPRK they are very thrifty: wherever possible, normal light-bulbs have been substituted for others with low consumption,- something which in the West it is only being thought about introducing,- and wherever there is no need for light, it is turned out immediately.
Koreans go about their business in the streets without being in a hurry, and there is no overcrowding in the public transport. The shops are full of products, but there are no queues like in our countries. Here, people go calmly into the shops when they need something. The capitalist system in the so-called developed countries, because of the laws inherent to its functioning, tends to accustom people to buy things they don't need at all, so that shopping becomes a passtime, one of their favourite activities, people become real 'shopaholics' and, like with any drug addiction, they feel satisfaction only for a short period of time after the shopping expedition, and then feel the irresistible need to go and buy something new, and they think that after that purchase they will finally understand the purpose of life and calm down. It is a terrible illness which drags people into an endless whirlwind of debts, credits and loans, after which many people work only to pay off their debts... And how can a person be 'free' like that? In fact, they are tied hand and foot, precisely what the system required of them!
The Koreans of DPRK happily know nothing of this terrible illness. But the variety of products in the shops is sufficiently wide and no-one swells up with hunger, as happens in the 'democratic' African countries. We were in different regions of the country, including agricultural areas, in a region where, if one is to believe the Western press, there should be hunger and we could see with our own eyes that these 'horror stories' are of the same type as those concerning Iraqi 'weapons of mass destruction.'
We met on many occasions with natives of the country and it never once occurred to me that any of our guides would prevent us from communicating with any of them. Naturally, there are places in the country which cannot be shown to foreigners, this used to be the case with us too (in USSR) and now I understand that this was absolutely correct. There hangs permanently over DPRK the threat of intervention from the imperialist United States, and up till now a peace accord has still not been signed between the two countries after the brilliant victory of the Korean people in the 1950-1953 war. There is only an armistice. The US does not want to sign documents guaranteeing a firm peace.
Actually, there are a lot of soldiers on the streets of DPRK, but you soon get used to their presence - it's an integral part of the reality of this small proud country. Here there is no selling of military uniforms or of war decorations of fathers and grandfathers. And here, there could never happen what happened in Yugoslavia when the army came out unharmed from NATO bombing, and yet Kosovo was handed to the enemy without any resistance...
Of course, the people in the streets often stare at foreigners, particularly the children, who wave and smile, and the military patrols in the streets, with impeccable politeness, direct military salutes at you. They are certainly not used to foreigners. In one year, a total of just a few hundred foreign tourists visit North Korea. But the problem is not with Korea, but with Western propaganda. By chance I saw an email message sent from home to one of the Western tourists present in Pyongyang: "When we heard where you were, we were immediately worried."
This same tourist can now confirm that there wasn't the least reason to be worried (perhaps it could be that in her native country she would have to be worried, after returning from here). Moreover, here you can leave your things, including valuables, with no worry at all in the hotel, or even in the bus during excursions and you have a 100% guarantee that no-one will take anything. Where else can you imagine a situation like that in one of the European countries? And children leave their bags in school when they go home for dinner.
Our guides told us that the more people who visit their country, the better: "If you know anyone else interested in seeing our county, tell them to come. We will be very happy. Anyone who sees our country with their own eyes, without exception, no longer believes that we have aggressive intentions or in any of the other inventions of Western propaganda." And in fact, how could one believe in them, when you make a mental comparison between Korean soldiers who till the earth and work on the building sites of their country, with unruly Yankee soldiers or those of other NATO countries, torturers and executioners of the civilian population in other people's lands?
At times I felt for a while as if I were at home. And it wasn't because there are so many Russian cars and other means of transport and that the streets are wide like in Moscow, or that the uniform of Korean officers is reminiscent of the Soviet unifrom, that many high-rise buildings are similar to the Soviet ones (only that, in contrast to the latter, they are painted in different pretty colours), and that the cinemas, like formerly at home, are decorated with handpainted posters showing the heroes of the films. No, the main reason lay in the people, in their way of life.
Everything was immediately recognizable - the school and work excursions to museums, to the circus, the voluntary unpaid work on Saturdays, the lists of honour (which show photos, for example, of the most outstanding workers in some activity) ... things which are difficult to explain to someone from the West, but which for us, brought up in the USSR, seem as natural as breathing. Just that we had forgotten about them somewhat, but after 2-3 days in Pyongyang, memories come crowding back like an avalanche, so that you can almost smell the familiar smell of your childhood home. Feelings too rushed in, ones that in the 'free' world you had to suppress carefully and over a long period, simply in order to survive. For example, loving people. Or the desire simply to be useful to society. And faith in the best in people, a faith that we almost lost after being more than 15 years constantly subjected to a life in which man is, in effect, a wolf towards his fellow man, and you can expect any nasty trick from him.
I saw a country in which every day was like the 1st May celebrations in the Soviet Union.
No-one of course can say that the Koreans have an easy or worry-free life.
"Imagine what would happen in your country if, from one day to the next, you lost all your economic relations with Germany, Holland, France, Great Britain.... Our country found itself in this situation at the beginning of the 90s," said a DPRK diplomat to his Belgian audience on the day of solidarity with his country. In that same period, several natural catastrophes occurred, resulting in the loss of the harvests. But finally, the country recovered from it, in spite of all difficulties related, not only to all these factors, but also to the economic sanctions imposed by the US. And when you see, in the Korean exhibition of the Three Revolutions (similar to our Exhibition of Economic Advances in the USSR), their own vehicles, whose production is carried out inside the country, and the pavilion dedicated to the first artificial DPRK satellite (whose existence the US denies up until this day: "This can't exist, because it can never exist"), inevitably you are filled with wonder at the tenacity and value of this small country.
Here they don't sell for millions of dollars places in space ships, and they don't make business out of selling the historical documents of the country. Korean experts work for the benefit of their country. They are not forced to become prostitutes offering their services to the highest bidder, like our scientists, for whom the state itself plays the role of pimp.
Having no worries is not at all synonymous with happiness. As Leon Tolstoy said, 'tranquility is spiritually despicable'. 'Let me live in peace' is the favourite slogan of egotists and career merchants of all times and nations.
But that kind of tranquility and trust in tomorrow are two different things. The latter you can breathe in all Korean streets.
DPRK is, effectively, the Russia that we lost. But better, morally cleaner, more natural. It is possible that our country was like this in the 50s. Unfortunately, I only know of those years through the tales of my mother. I was unlucky, I was born later. And afterwards, for many of us, it suddenly seemed 'boring to build socialism', and in place of this, people began to think of white trousers of the latest style, of beautiful exotic girls and trips to Rio de Janeiro. With such unfortunate consequences for our country....
I realized when here that on the other side of the frontier, they simply don't understand DPRK, above all because of their own cynicism and lack of principles. They simply can't imagine that there are people in the world who really believe in a bright future and who work constantly to build it, because they themselves, although at one time they mouthed pretty words about communisim, were only pretending. Or else they can in no way imagine what socialism is, how it is possible to care for others and not live just for the satisfaction of one's own most basic needs (like the taxi driver in Dublin who put to me the question as to why the people in the Soviet Union bothered to study to be doctors or teachers if doctors and teachers had the same wage as the workers...). And naturally, these people judge others exclusively according to their own frame of reference...
When people in other countries that have been here return to their homes, they won't find many people to listen to their positive impressions. Instead, people will react in surprise: "Is it possible? How quickly North Korean propaganda stuck to you. My goodness, the dictatorship must be really strong there!"
But friends, what propaganda? Slogans are slogans, and nothing would influence me as much as what I see with my own eyes, like the fact that the vast majority of the population lives a decent life, are happy with it and work diligently for it. If they were forced to labour, they would not work like that!
Observing the Koreans - small people, quite delicate to look at,- who in the Saturday voluntary work teams form a human chain all along the road and dig ditches for electric cables over a distance of several kilometres and well into the night and often on public holidays don't take a rest but work in the rice fields, you will be forced to remember those lines of Tihonov: "If you made nails out of these people, you wouldn't find any stronger nails in the whole world!" They really do have a love relationship with work, if you still have the capacity to imagine what that means.
When you see Koreans working, you feel that each person knows exactly what their task is, without any boss standing over him, and consequently, he does it well. What a contrast with our communal work teams of the 70s in Russia when, for example, people wanted to do what was necessary as quickly as possible and your companions left the brooms in a pile and went into a corner to chat. "And what about you? It's not worth the effort ... Come with us!" ... The fruits of these and other actions are still being harvested today.
And what is more, Koreans live like one big family. "Oh, they only work like slaves, for them there's nothing else to life!" say our young men nowadays, dreaming that 'their money will work for them' just as all the con men promise them, and in their imagination, happiness is 'lying on a beach in the Bahamas.' "That's why you live in cages" as a character in the film Kindza-dza (1988) says ... By the way, in DPRK, I never saw one place with bars in the windows. Or barred doors, like in Russia. There is no need for them.
They have everything they want in life. There are theatres, museums, circuses, sports halls and swimming baths, cultural centres and recreational parks, and everything accessible to everyone. There was a girl in military uniform walking along a country pathway reading a good book as she went. There are children playing musical instruments, dancing and laughing (whilst in the 'civilized' town where I live, her contemporaries die of drug overdoses, steal cars or burn somebody.) And there are young people playing chess. And old people who rest with dignity on park benches without having to worry abut being robbed by monetary reforms. And lovers who walk along the piers, holding hands and looking at each other tenderly, instead of drinking tins of beer and afterwards falling down any old place amongst the bushes...
Look around! Look at the fetid, filthy rubbish dump we have turned our own marvellous, beloved, unique country into! All of us, and not only evil-doers like Berezovski (the best known Russian oligarch, at present hiding in Britain). It was us that allowed him and others of his ilk to get power! What have we turned ourselves into in the name of the disease called the 'New Thinking', in which there is nothing new, only the usual selfishness and avarice. Look how we have turned Russia into merchandise, converting her into one big flea market, an enormous second hand market. Is no-one sorrowing for her? Is it possible we have reached such a degree of lack of self-esteem?
A long time ago, when I was still at school, when I was reading a magazine called 'Korea today' in Russian, this phrase engraved itself on my memory: 'We are jealous of no-one!' At the time it seemed to me, to put it mildly, an exaggeration. But today I was able, with my own eyes, to see the truth of this sentence. In effect, the Koreans have no reason to be envious of anyone infected by the virus of the most abject servility. We should be envious of them.....

Pyongyang, July 2007
Translated by Jenny James