Yesterday , the 5th of March , was the 75th anniversary of the Agrarian Reform in People’s Korea . It was one spring day in 1946 when the Provisional People’s Committee of north Korea headed by the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG Proclaimed the Law on Agrarian Reform . The Law was carried out at lighting speed , it was stipulated that it should be carried by the end of March and the law carried out within the time span of 20 days , an amazing achievement .
In just 20 days centuries of oppression by landlords and feudalists were smashed , The working farmers , the poor peasants of the northern half of Korea became masters of the land and masters of their fate .
The Agrarian Reform was a most thorough and revolutionary one . All land owned by absentee landlords or over 5 hectares in size was confiscated without compensation being paid to the former landlords and was distributed to the people free of charge . In some socialist countries there was limited compensation for the former landlords and some charges for the redistributed land but in People’s Korea there was not . Some neo-colonial countries failed miserably to carry land reform in the interests of the ordinary people. For example in Kenya the ‘willing selling , willing buyer ‘ principle was enforced meaning that the land owned by the former colonialists remained in their hands .
In People’s Korea 1 million hectares of land possessed by the Japanese imperialists and their stooges and landlords were distributed to poor peasants and farmhands of 720 000 households free of charge.
Feudalism and landlordism bit the dust at one stroke . It marked the beginning of a new era in the northern part of Korea . It meant a fundamental and far reaching redistribution of wealth and power in People’s Korea . The imperialist countries despite years of so-called reformism , of ‘social democracy ‘ , have markedly failed to achieve .
In the UK today it is a fact that most of the land is owned by big landowners, monopoly capitalist corporations and property companies and banks . A ‘Guardian ‘ article from 2019 stated that in the UK half of the land is owned by less than 1 percent of the population.In south Korea the newspaper Hankyoreh reported that 1 percent of the population owned more than 60 per cent of the land ( of course it did not mention that in south Korea a lot of land is owned by the US armed forces and US multinational. corporations ).
The Agrarian Reform in People’s Korea not only freed the working farmers from exploitation , oppression and poverty but broke the shackles on the agricultural productive forces .
The Agrarian Reform paved the way for the socialist transformation of agriculture over the Fatherland Liberation War in the 1950s . Today People’s Korea is a socialist country and is one of the most egalitarian countries in the world . Everything is owned by the people and there are no rich and poor . There is free medical care, free education and virtually free housing . Income differentials are very low , in fact probably the lowest in the world .
This is the reason why the imperialists hate People’s Korea so much and demonize it constantly .
Dr Dermot Hudson
Chairman British Group for the Study of the Juche Idea
Chairman UK Korean Friendship Association
President Association for the Study of Songun Politics