Some people think People’s Korea is the same as the Soviet Union or a carbon copy of the Soviet Union. This was even said in a comment on one of our popular Facebook posts in which someone said such and such must happen in the DPRK because it happened in the USSR , end of story etc . This kind of argument involves two old tropes ; firstly , that all socialist countries are the same - it does not matter if it is the old East Germany , China under Mao , China under Deng , the DPRK , Vietnam or Cuba , it is all the same thing ! Secondly, that the DPRK was established by the USSR and not by the struggle of its people led by great President KIM IL SUNG .
Of course this is yet another fallacy . The DPRK is quite different from the USSR and it was not a creation of the USSR but it is its own creation , the creation of the Korean people led by President KIM IL SUNG . It is an independent , Juche -based socialism . There are of course many differences between the USSR and DPRK , the obvious one is in size . Both countries pursued their own roads to socialism .
The DPRK actually had to fight against the big power chauvinism of some of the leaders of the USSR . The DPRK upheld anti-revisionism whereas the USSR slid into modern revisionism ( renunciation of basic principles ) and pursued the line of peaceful co-existence and peaceful co-operation with the USA .The DPRK firmly upheld revolutionary principles .
The DPRK also took measures to eradicate bureaucracy and create a genuine people-orientated system of work . In the DPRK the CHONGSAN RI method of work was initiated by President KIM IL SUNG . The CHONGSAN RI method means that leading officials go down to the basic units and help people . It is a work method totally opposed to bureaucracy and elitism . In the DPRK officials have to do one day of manual labour per week .
Ordinary DPRK citizens can go into the Koryo Hotel and restaurants etc in the centre of Pyongyang . In fact the DPRK is one of the most egalitarian societies in the world . We were told when visiting a factory in the DPRK that income differentials are only 2 to 1. This compares to an income differential of 30 to 1 during the Brezhnev period in the USSR which markedly increased under Gorbachov . It was pointed out to us as well that workers in factories in the DPRK had opportunities to learn new skills and advance to a higher grade , what a contrast to the class divided societies of the West with their dead-end jobs and big inequalities.
A the end of the day , the USSR collapsed but the DPRK survived and upholds the red flag of socialism. That is the big difference .