Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Visit to the Juche People's Paradise to celebrate the 105th anniversary of the birth of the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG


A delegation of the Juche Idea Study Group of England and Association For the Study of Songun Politics UK  visited the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from the 11th of April to the 22nd of April to attend the celebrations of the 105th anniversary of the birth of the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG  at the kind and generous invitation of the Korean Association of Social Scientists. Our delegation consisted of myself , Shaun Pickford the secretary general of the Juche Idea Study Group of England and Chairman of Staffordshire Korean Friendship Association  and David Munoz Organisation Secretary of the UK Korean Friendship Association.
   For me it was my 13th visit , for comrade Pickford his 7th visit and comrade Munoz's second visit .
Before we travelled to People's Korea there were all kinds of crazy reports of imminent war on the Korean peninsula and talk of a US aircraft strike carrier group heading towards the DPRK to mount  a pre-emptive strike on the DPRK . There were rumours of all flights been cancelled and of Pyongyang being evacuated. This proved false .Pyongyang was full of people both Koreans and foreigners , aircraft were flying and there was a calm , peaceful and almost dreamy atmosphere. No one we spoke to was worried or frightened by Trumps threats .No one cared a fig for what Trump was saying.Everyone was calm and strong. In many parts of the globe imperialist aircraft intrude into the skies but in Pyongyang and other parts of the DPRK the skies are free from imperialist aircraft , indeed visiting the Fatherland Liberation War Museum we saw the wreckage of the EC121 US imperialist spy plane shot down by KPA fighter aircraft on the 15th of April 1969.
   Our delegation left the UK on the 9th of April catching an Air China flight to Beijing . We found China to be quite chaotic as the Chinese would not help us get to our hotel  and when we finally made it to the hotel we were told that it was the wrong one ! . More chaos ensured the next day when the Chinese airport authorities managed to delay our Air Koryo flight to the DPRK by about 2 hours. Finally our plane touched down at Pyongyang International Airport Sunan  Pyongyang International Airport is an example of a Juche-orientated self-reliant socialist airport which has struck the right balance . It is not over expanded . Sadly airports like Heathrow and Beijing are examples of globalisation where the airports have been expanded well beyond their natural capacity and beyond what is good and efficient . This is the fruit of trying to compete in the globalised world market . Both Heathrow and Beijing airports are too congested and overstretched to be efficient but at Pyongyang International Airport you can check in and 40 minutes later you are on your flight taking off .
  We were greeted at the airport by KASS section Kim Chol Ho who introduced me to our guide for the visit Miss Gil ,a graceful and dignified  looking lady who is a university teacher of English and life sciences at the famous and renown KIM IL SUNG University. A number of delegations arrived the same day as us such as the Finnish and Polish delegations. Overall over 90 delegates from over 20 countries participated in the events organised by the Korean Association of Social Scientists. There were delegations from  Bangladesh, Belgium, Brasil, Czech Republic , Democratic Congo , Finland, Ireland , Japan, Luxemburg, Mexico, Poland , Mongolia, Nepal,Pakistan , Russia ,Thailand , Turkey and the Ukraine. No one can say that the DPRK is isolated !

  After a drive through Pyongyang we arrived at the splendid Pyongyang Koryo Hotel where I had stayed many times before. We found that the hotel had been completely renovated and revamped , it is was quite unrecognisable from when I had stayed in it last September , there was a new seating area on the ground floor and the international communications desk had been moved from the 1st floor to the ground floor. We were able to relax over a cup of coffee in the ground floor tea shop .
Of course it is not just the Koryo Hotel that has changed. Everywhere in Pyongyang there is construction work and the new Ryomyong Street has been completed . We are able to see this for ourselves. We saw futuristic looking buildings , some of them 70 stories high . Last April when I was in the DPRK  Ryomyong Street was just a construction  basically bare earth with lorries moving about . Really Ryomyong Street is not a mere street but is as big as a small city or town . Mirae Scientists Street which was completed at the beginning of 2016 has not only flats but also shops, clinics and a hospital. We were told that Professor Ri who was our guide in April 2012 was moving into a new flat in Ryomyong Street which was provided  free of charge by the state.
  We also saw the new Orphans Primary School which had been newly constructed and opened this year . It is next to the Pyongyang Orphans Secondary School. In capitalist societies orphans are usually forsaken and orphanages are horrendous places where all kinds of abuses and crimes are committed against children. However in People's Korea orphans are regarded as valued members of society and given the best things . We went around the school and saw modern equipment .The school was very clean and free from graffiti and vandalism that one sees in English schools. Indeed the schoolchildren are most patriotic and devoted to their country  we saw pictures urging the children to collect scrap iron to help the armed forces. We saw here that it is a lie about "starvation" and "malnutrition ". Recently the capitalist media in several countries carried propandaistic reports alleged "malnutrition " in the DPRK , however we saw the dining room and kitchen , there was plenty of healthy food such as a fruit and vegetables. Indeed food in the DPRK is mainly fresh rather than unhealthy processed food. The school also had its own clinic with doctors and nurses ,treatment facilities and even beds . This was in contrast in schools in the UK which usually do not have medical facilities in them , however some UK schools have their own police officers stationed in them ! . The school also had excellent sports facilities.
   Care for children and people-oriented policies were also evidenced by the excellent Okryu Children's Hospital which was built 2 years ago and stands opposite the famous Pyongyang Maternity Hospital. We are were told this has a total of 32,000 sq metres of floor square ,making it quite large . In fact larger than many UK hospitals. We were only able to see a small part of the hospital as there was not enough time. However what we saw was most impressive . The hospital was positively ornate with marble floors and pillars. The hospital was decorated in light colours which gave a warm and cheerful atmosphere to the place. In my country hospitals are usually regarded with fear and apprehension but this hospital seemed such a welcoming place. We saw rooms for rehabilitating disabled children. There was a school within the hospital so that children do not miss schooling when they are in the hospital . We also saw a telemedicine room , here the hospital is linked to other children's hospitals in the country so doctors in different hospitals can consult with each other instantly. This shows that the DPRK has a high level of technology and that is a fast moving society .  I asked my guide Miss Gil if there were waiting lists for the hospital , she replied that people can be admitted straight to the hospital without having to wait . We told her that in the UK there are waiting lists for hospital treatment and she said but surely people can die that way , we told her that this had indeed happened. There were no cutbacks or austerity at this hospital. All treatment is free of charge. Needless  to say BBC correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes  slandered this hospital when he visited it but we could see that what he said was untrue . Also that the reports about malnourished children are false .
   Are all public and cultural facilities in the DPRK are run to a high standard. No visit to Pyongyang is complete without a trip on the Pyongyang Metro. This is the cheapest and deepest in the world. I was told that an annual travelcard costs less than  1 dollar , compare this to £,1800 for a 1 to 4 zone travelcard for London , the difference is nearly 2000 times. We also visited the Pyongyang Metro Revolutionary Museum which is near to Ryomyong Street. The last time  I visited this Museum was 1993. I liked visiting partly because I find transport history interesting and also because it is a classic DPRK museum. Here we learnt of the history of the construction of the Pyongyang Metro , the first stage of which was completed in 1973 and also the guidance given by the great leaders comrades KIM IL SUNG and KIM JONG Il to the construction of the Metro. I believe that comrade KIM IL SUNG gave guidance 500 times to the construction of the Metro. We saw the converted bus that he used to visit the Metro whilst it was under construction .There was an excellent diorama showing the construction of a tunnel which had red flags and revolutionary slogans.
  During our visit we were able to have several long walks across the centre of Pyongyang . The atmosphere was really calm .The streets were immaculately clean . There was no impression of tension or pressure,
   Undoubtedly the high point of the visit was the April 15th grand military parade and mass civilian demonstration. That day rain had been predicted but instead the weather was bright and sunny leaving us with a slight sun tan . The parade was attended in person by dear respected Marshal KIM JONG UN , chairman of the Workers Party of Korea and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK . Before the parade started vice-chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and vice-chairman of the WPK comrade Choe Ryong Hae made a speech which pointed out that "  The U.S. is creating the phase of a war while resorting to frantic nuclear war provocation moves against the DPRK, the speaker said, stressing that if it makes reckless provocation, the Korean revolutionary armed forces will immediately mount an annihilating blow and answer an all-out war in kind and a nuclear war with Korean-style nuclear strike.". The parade was most disciplined, precise and yet at the same time enthusiastic and buoyant. We saw detachments of armed university students marching. The DPRK has an all-people defence system so that in the event of war everyone will take up weapons and fight the US imperialists to the last person.
 For the first time we saw special forces troops of the Korean People's Army equipped with the very latest gear . I am convinced that the Korean People's Army could liberate south Korea and reunify the country finally ending the existence of the reactionary ,decadent anti-people fascist puppet regime of south Korea.  We also saw Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles and massive ICBMs thundered by. After the military it was the turn of the civilians who staged a most colourful mass parade tangibly demonstrating the unity of the people around the leader and Party . There were slogans about defending socialism , about the Juche idea and about self-development first . When the civilian parade finished dear respected Marshal KIM JONG UN waved to the audience , we broke into rapturous applause , the respected Marshal waved to us , his face looked bright and happy , his smile was like the sun giving life to the people, indeed dear respected Marshal KIM JONG UN is the sun of the 21st century .
   I attended an excellent open air Art Performance in celebration of the 105th birthday of the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG at the Rungna Peoples Pleasure Park. It was my first time to attend an open air concert in the DPRK I enjoyed the concert particularly a spirited performance of the song "Lets Defend Socialism". There was also a nice song and dance routine "standard bearers of self-development"  which showed the successes of the self-development first idea of respected Marshal KIM JONG UN.The performance was of high artistic and and ideological quality. I also attended a wonderful circus performance at the Pyongyang Circus in Kwangbok Street.
    Our delegation participated in the Joint Friendship Gathering at the Pyongyang International Football School. Our term did not do too well in the games but our delegation gave our own rendition of the Korean revolutionary song "We Follow Only You "(this was produced at the time of the defeat of the anti-party counter-revolutionary modern factionalist group). There was a real internationalist atmosphere at this event as some delegations formed collective singing groups together such as the Russians, Poles and Czechs. This disproves the idea that the DPRK is “nationalist” and “isolationist”.
 Our delegation visited the KIMILSUNGIA-KIMJONGILIA exhibition on the banks of the River Taedong not far from the Juche Idea Tower. We saw our own entry to the KIMILSUNGIA festival . Our delegation also paid respects to the great leaders comrade KIM IL SUNG and comrade KIM JONG IL at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun.We also visited the birthplace of the the great leader President KIM IL SUNG at Mangyondae. We also travelled north to Mt Myohyang to see the
International Friendship Exhibtion which houses the gifts sent by the world people to the great leaders comrade KIM IL SUNG and comrade KIM JONG IL and dear respected Marshal KIM JONG UN.We saw the gifts we had presented on earlier occasions. We have visited the section of the exhibition devoted to the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG here we saw the trains sent by JV Stalin and Mao Zedong as well as the bullet-proof cars sent by Stalin and Malenkov.
  We participated in the seminar on the Juche idea at the People's Palace of Culture on the 14th of April . This was addressed by the secretary general of the Korean Association of Social Scientists comrade Ri Song Chol . Speakers from Mexico, Japan, Finland , France , Russia and Nepal addressed the seminar. I made a speech on behalf of the UK. In speech I pointed out that "Seeing the great achievements of Juche Korea which are made despite the unprecedentedly harsh sanctions and blockades of the US imperialists and other hostile forces we have been become even more firmly of the absolute truth of Juche, believing that it is the ideology that everyone should follow. There is no doubt that the Juche Idea is the most revolutionary anti-imperialist idea that shows the way to independence and liberation as well as the building of a new society that is free from exploitation , oppression ,domination and subjugation . The Juche Idea is valid not just for the Korean people or the third world but for also for the people of the imperialist countries as well. The imperialists and reactionaries oppose the Juche Idea but its attraction is growing stronger and stronger even though the enemy does everything to obstruct the study of the Juche Idea....These days the independence of Juche Korea has come under harsh and abnormal attack by the US imperialists as well as the big power chauvinists and international revisionists, who had betrayed the cause of socialism and long time ago. The US imperialists and their followers have imposed sanctions after sanctions either through the UNSC or independently. Together with their south Korean puppets they have carried out large scale military exercises against the DPRK .

 On the 16th of April a gathering of older and younger followers of the Juche idea was held at which our comrade David Munoz UK KFA Organisation secretary made a speech along with young Juche idea followers from the Ukraine, Russia and India.
  Our delegation were each awarded with the double portrait badge of the great leaders comrade KIM IL SUNG and KIM JONG IL by KASS vice secretary general Choe Kang (our old friend). We also met comrade Kim Ki Nam vice chairman of the Workers Party of Korea  at the state banquet. I was greatly impressed to be received by the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly comrade Kim Yong Nam at the Mansudae Assemby Hall which houses the Supreme Peoples Assembly of the DPRK (the basic lawmaking body of the DPRK) . Comrade Kim Yong Nam had a talk with the heads of delegations and we were served with a refreshing cup of insam tea. Our delegation also participated in the meeting of the International Preparatory Committee  and the excellent banquet hosted by the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries which was presided over by Mrs Kim Jong Suk chairwoman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries . We also met the KIM IL SUNG-KIM JONG IL International Foundation .
   Our delegation also called on the Pyongyang Mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front of south  Korea(AINDF), the underground revolutionary organisation of south Korea which upholds the great Juche idea. We conversed the head of the mission comrade Zo Il Min in a friendly and cordial manner. The highpoint of any visit to the DPRK is to meet the AINDF. We were shown videos showing the just struggle of the south Korean people against the corrupt and despotic Park Geun Hye regime and also the aggressive warmongering exercises of the US imperialists and south Korean puppets as well the struggle of the south Korean and world progressive people. We had a discussion on how to best support and invigorate  the struggle of the south Korean people and the AINDF for independent reunification. We were entertained with a wonderful meal including the excellent kochugang hot pepper sauce .
   Militant anti-imperialism was very much an integral part of our visit . We visited the Fatherland Liberation War Museum which details  both how the US imperialists provoked the Korean War and the defeat of the US imperialists. We also visited the new expanded and reconstructed Sinchon Museum . I had visited it in October 2015 but it was the first time for the other members of my delegation to see it. Here we learnt in graphic detail of the barbaric and sub-human atrocities committed by the US imperialists against the innocent Korean people. We saw anti US posters and the song "Death to the US imperialist aggressors " was being played  over the PA system as background music. I addressed a revenge pledging gathering of Korean people becoming the first foreigner to do so.
   The trip to visit Sinchon afforded an opportunity to see the provincial city of Sariwon and the countryside . Construction work is not only carried out in Pyongyang but in local towns and cities. Sariwon and the surrounding countryside seemed to bustling with people . We even saw a traffic jam on a rural road. The imperialists and reactionaries like to mouth about "hunger in the north Korean countryside" but we saw no such thing , no one starving or begging . In fact I was surprised to see a woman with a big bowl of strawberries at the roadside . My guide told me that I must be mistaken but then she saw it . This was something new. We visited the Migok Co-Op farm . Here were were told that the farm produces 10 tons of grain per jongbo (roughly equivalent) to a hectare which is a very high yield and certainly disproves allegations about crop failure and famine that are peddled incessantly the hired hacks of imperialism and the bourgeoisie.
We visited the same farmhouse visited by the great leader comrade KIM JONG IL in 2006. It had two storeys .There was a television and a computer . The house was very clean. To me it seemed superior to the farmhouse I visited in Brasil in December 2016. The imperialists also allege that the DPRK has restored or is restoring capitalism in agriculture, however we saw red flags proudly fluttering over the fields and slogans like "Long live the great Juche farming method !". Leaving the socialist countryside of the DPRK behind I concluded that it would be a nice place to go sit and read a book in the sun and go to sleep  as it was truly idyllic and tranquil unlike noisy and chaotic London !
  It was a great visit which we thoroughly enjoyed and would have liked to stay much longer ! Cheerio Juche Korea ! See you again soon !
Dr Dermot Hudson

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