Kim Jong Un's Korea: The Thriving Nation: An Account of A Visit To The DPRK June 2015
By Shaun Pickford
I was able to return to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, after an interval of three years and saw immense improvements in the cultural and living standards of the Korean People. All the progress which is being realized in the DPRK, is based on socialist principles and self reliance. The Supreme Leader of the DPRK, Marshal KIM JONG UN, is working continuously for the welfare of the Korean People and spares nothing for the well-being of the workers, farmers and intellectuals. Such a leader as KIM JONG UN, cannot be found elsewhere in the world, as the DPRK leader is always putting the people first in everything.
When the concept of socialism has become dirty word among some circles, there is one country which upholds socialism and that nation is the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. The DPRK not only defends its socialist system, but is bringing in more socialism, in other words displaying all the material, ideological and cultural advantages of the socialist system. In the space of a nine days in the DPRK (June 16 - June 25), I was to witness all the successes made in the endeavourer to build a thriving nation on the land of Korea. When the Air Koryo plane arrived at the Sunan airport, I sang to myself the songs "Song of General KIM IL SUNG," "The Red Flag" and "The Internationale", because it was so exciting to be back in this land of Juche once again.
Healthcare is one priority area for the enrichment of a population's living conditions. I was able to go around The Ryugyong Dental Hospital, which is in the eastern part of Pyongyang. Whereas, most capitalist countries are closing down or reducing public health services, the DPRK is expansing them.The Ryukyong Dental Hospital was opened on October 2013 and is located in the Munsu area of Pyongyang. Within the hospital, there are diagnosis and treatment rooms, first aid treatment room, material and dispensary, a shop and a playground. The hospital has all the latest advances in dental technology at its despoil and helps to increase the level of medical science in the DPRK. This dental hospital plays a vital role in the prevention and treatment of dental diseases and increase the asethic and physical standard of the people. I told the director of The Ryukyong Dental Hospital and my guide about how dental care is so expensive in the UK and quoted my own dentist as an example ,who stated that a single replacement tooth would cost £2,000. Both the directer and my guide could not believe prohibitive cost of dentistry is in Britain and stated that all forms of dental care were free of charge in the DPRK.
The party and government of Socialist Korea has always put alot of emphasis on the physical and emotional development of children. On the itinenary of my visit was The Kyongsang Kindergarten in the Manusdae district of Pyongyang. The Kindergarden has latest amenities for the care of the pre-school children and appeared to be ultra modern in its design. All access to the Kindergarden is completely free and takes the burden of childcare off the mothers, so women can concentrated themselves in economic construction, without worry or stress. Marshal KIM JONG UN paid the highest attention to development of The Kyongsang Kindergarten and ensured thed becomes a palace for the young children. The Kyongsang Kindergarden has raised many child prodigies, many of whom achieved first place in the children's and young people's International Chopin Piano Contest.
Health care for children is regarded as a specialist medical field, so when I visited Okryu Children's Hospital, I encountered a medical centre, second to none, in its quality of provision. Instead of being like a hospital, The Okryu Children's Hospital was more like a palace in its design and layout, rather than a medical institution. To make the children feel at home, there are 1,7000 fairy tale illustrations in the six storied hospital, as well as indoor playgrounds. As education and intellectual development are important goals for the Workers' Party of Korea, so there are functioning kindergardens and class rooms located within the hospital. Even the cities and provinces outside of Pyongyang, benefit from the hospital expertise, due to the tele- medicine service and just outside the main building, there is the heliport, ready to receive sick and injured children from all parts of the DPRK for urgent treatment. As the capitalist countries such as Britain are closing down hospitals and medical services due to austerity, whereas Socialist Korea is expanding its public health network. Marshal KIM JONG UN makes sure that the Korean children want for nothing in their young lives, so as to live full and happy lives in the DPRK.
For a pleasant day out, I went to the Folk Park, which lays at the foot of Mount Taesong. When I came to Pyongyang in 2012, the park was being constructed and three years later, the attraction is up and running. I observed during the tour of the Park, families and parties of schoolchildren looking around the various models of famous Korean monuments and learning the history of their proud nation. It is the policy of the Workers' Party of Korea preserve and maintain the centuries' old cultural heritage of the Korean People, one can see this policy in the appearance of the Pyongyang Folk Park. The Park consists of general history education, historical relics, folk village, folk games and contemporary times. Walking around the Park, you are instantly transported to various eras of Korean history such as Koguryo and Koryo, to every province in Korea, from Ryangyang to Cholla. All the models and reconstructions of such famous landmarks "The Turtle shaped ship" (the world's first ironclad ship) and The Chomsongdae Observatory, and other temples and pagodas, were perfectly created by the Korean craftspeople. I had the opportunity while in the Folk Park, to have a chat with a Professor of Ancient Korean History and was able to have watched Korean customs such as a wedding ceremony.
I was driven many times through Changjon Street in Central Pyongyang, which was renovated in 2012, the centenary year of the birth of President KIM IL SUNG. Changjon Street, goes well with the fine scenery of the Taedong riverside, comprising 45, 40 and 30 storeyed apartment houses and theatres, schools, kindergardens, pharmacy, catering and welfare service establishments. I was able to a congenial last evening meal of my trip with my guide and driver at a restaurant in Changjon Street. We were treated to such delights of Korean cuisine as Pyongyang Cold Noodles, Kimchi and even potato chips, washed down with generous amounts of Taedonggang Beer.
Sports is seen as a important activity in the building of a socialist thriving nation in the DPRK. It is the goal of Marshal KIM JONG UN to turn Socialist Korea in a world class sporting power. All Korean people of whatever age and occupation, are encouraged to take up a sport and engage in physical exercise. As a illustration of this policy of sports' promotion by the WPK, I was taken around The Mirim Riding Club, in the Pyongyang's suburbs. The Mirim Riding Club covers an area of 60 hectares, with stables, and indoor and outdoor training grounds. I had the opportunity to visit the indoor riding gymnasium, which is a two storeyed building. The first floor was for horse riding training and the second floor was used as a gallery for seating spectators. It appeared that the Mirim Riding Club was very busy with people with learning to ride horses and perfecting their riding technique. As I was told that the riding club is affordable for most people to use regluraly and practice physical fitness. Touring the outside of the club, I saw riders galloping on the turf course and they reminded me of the Korean People rushing forward to the heights of socialist civilization.
The Workers' Party of Korea's strategic aim is to build up an economic giant in the DPRK, based on independence and self -sustenance. It is the desire of Marshal KIM JONG UN to provide everyone in the DPRK with a affluent life, enjoying all the material benefits of Korean-style socialism to the full. In compliance with the economic line of the Songun era, there has been given preferential development of the defence industry and of light industry and agriculture. In recent years, rapid progress has been made in science and technology and in creating a knowledge based economy. CNC technology have been introduced into many areas of production throughout the DPRK. With the protection of the nuclear deterrent, Peoples Korea wants to diversify foreign trade and encourage investments from outside. An economic development zone is to be setup in every province in the DPRK and, Wonsan, Mount Chilbo and other resorts have been turned into modern tourist zones
.Fundamentally, self-reliance and collective management in forms of the Taean Guidance System and the Chongsan-ri method remain the bedrock of the DPRK's socialist economy. Socialism in the DPRK is bulit by socialist methods,and not on capitalist models. The DPRK's economy is not a prisoner of the IMF, the World Bank and the Multi-National Corporations,but is owned and controlled by the Korean People, social wealth and relations in the DPRK serve the people's interests