Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Korea Today: The Secret of Increased Production

BBC and other news sources have reported that this year the DPRK's economy is growing by leaps and bounds after a period of decline known as the "arduous march" ended. BBC has reported the the DPRK's GDP has increased. Agricultural production has also increased by a whopping 11%. Pyongyang currently has a higher gross domestic product than Seoul. In this light, the article, reprinted below from Korea Today the National Magazine of the DPRK, shows the methods of increasing production. It is interesting how the DPRK's economy is arranged so that art, music, education, scientific research, etc. are all centered around the goal of increasing economic output and rebuilding the economy since the collapse of the USSR. Worker controlled means of production bring out a different side of workers who can call it "our factory." This is an excellent piece for understanding of Socialist Economics, whatever differences one may have with the DPRK's leadership aside.

Secret of Increased Production

The Pyongyang 326 Electric Wire Factory is not only the one of high productivity, but also one of those factories leading the country in all undertakings such as the establishment of cultured ways in production and life.

Its workers are especially attached to their workplace.

They all call it “our factory” and improve their workplace and worthwhile working life.

Masters of factory

Every evening at 6 o’clock after the day’s work, there can be seen in the factory compound many workers going to the factory college based on the study-while-working education system. Among them are ex-service persons and workers fresh from secondary school.

Though different from one another in age and job, they all have one and the same desire to contribute to the success of the 150-day campaign now under way in the country and prepare themselves to be the masters of the factory in future by properly combining their experiences in work with what they learn at the college.

Many skilled workers and innovators have been brought up in such a way.

Paek Won Gil, a repairman of the drawing shop, has formed over 30 new conceptions and made technical innovations, including an emulsion heating device and the modification of electrode axis bushings since graduating from the college two years ago, thus making a remarkable contribution to the production of goods. So he is held in affection as the “treasure” of the factory. He told his successes were attributed to his awareness that he is also the master of the factory, and to the advantage of the study-while-working education system.

Most of the workteam leaders, workshop managers and management officials of the factory including So Kwang Chol, a workteam leader who rendered a sizeable benefit to the state by completing a computer-controlled eccentricity measurement device to save a large amount of materials, are the graduates of the college.

The workers of the factory are learning science and technology as required by the new century not only at the college, but also through regular technical studies at the factory.


Jo Ung Hyon, a worker of the insulation workshop, is a prominent “worker writer” of the factory.

Some time ago the factory’s gazette carried his essay “Pride.”

In the essay he wrote the impression he had got from what he, on his way home, heard people admiring his factory’s honour of having been visited by General Secretary Kim Jong Il of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

The essay carried in the factory’s gazette was highly commented upon because it vividly represented the feeling of the workers of the factory.

When the factory was improved beyond recognition by the workers’ own efforts, and when it overfulfilled its yearly production plan, the worker writer wrote poems reflecting his feelings and contributed them to the factory’s gazette and other national papers and magazines.

Others also want to express their love for and pride in the factory.

Kim Hyok Nam and Ri Jong Sim, who fell in love and made a happy family while conducting artistic promotion activities from their youthful days, are a couple of “singers” loved by the factory.

Their duets My Factory and My Friends and We Are a Couple of Workers sung during a break of work, have become the favourite songs of all workers of the factory.

The factory has many other people who have developed their artistic talents while working.

“Cheer up!”

“Cheer up!” “Cheer up!”

During a break of work and on holidays enthusiastic sounds of cheering can be heard on the football, volleyball and table-tennis grounds in the compound of the factory.

The factory frequently organizes football, volleyball and table-tennis matches, and yut and Korean chess games between workteams and workshops.

Not long ago its workers’ football team won a match with that of the Pyongyang Automatic Appliances Factory 2-0.

It is a claim of its workers that they should “take the lead not only in production, but also in sports games.”

Their enthusiasm for sports is represented in high production results.

Engaged in the 150-day drive, the factory has so far overfulfilled its production plans every month.

Pae Kyong Sop, the captain of its volleyball team, said as follows:

“I was not a member of the volleyball team in my school days. Though I was interested in sports, I never participated in games. After beginning to work at the factory I came to take part in production competitions and sports games held every month. In the course of this I learned volleyball techniques, and have now become the captain of the team. The sports games really invigorate us and stimulate our production enthusiasm.”

Pang Nam Gil

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