By Caleb T. Maupin
The recent launch of a satellite into orbit is only the latest of
many achievements of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The
northern half of the Korean peninsula is led by the Korean Workers
Party, a revolutionary communist organization. The banks, factories and
other commanding heights have been held in common and guided by a
planned economy since 1948.
The DPRK’s socialist revolution has resulted in many achievements for the Korean people.
Building up industry
Before driving out the Japanese colonialists, north Korea had very
little industrial production. After the revolution, Kim Il Sung led the
country in developing its infrastructure. But from 1950 to 1953, the
U.S. invaded the DPRK and tried to eradicate all that had been built
with a massive bombing campaign. The Koreans resisted and finally an
armistice was signed. Over the next three years, in the Three-Year Plan
of 1954-1956, the industrial growth rate was at least 30 percent, even
according to hostile U.S. sources. (“A Country Study: North Korea,” U.S.
Library of Congress)
Between 1953 and 1956, the DPRK tripled its gross domestic product.
Huge steel plants were erected. Electric power plants were also
constructed. The country became industrialized at a pace that astounded
economists all over the world. (“Korea: Division, Reunification, and
U.S. Foreign Policy” by Martin Hart-Landsberg, Monthly Review Press,
Even during the extreme flooding and droughts of the “arduous march”
period of the early 1990s, after the collapse of the USSR, no person in
the DPRK has ever been deprived of their basic human right to housing.
Dr. Bruce Cummings of the University of Chicago pointed out in his book
“North Korea, Another Country” that the DPRK makes universal housing a
priority. (New Press, 2003)
Currently, the country is working to construct 100,000 new “dwelling
houses” in Pyongyang. (Korean Central News Agency, Jan. 22, 2010)
Article 70 of the DPRK’s constitution says: “Citizens have the right
to work. All able-bodied citizens choose occupations in accordance with
their wishes and skills and are provided with stable jobs and working
conditions. Citizens work according to their abilities and are paid in
accordance with the quantity and quality of their work.” There is no
unemployment in the DPRK.
During the period of Japanese occupation, many working people in
Korea were illiterate. The socialist revolution in the northern half of
the country established a system of compulsory universal education.
According to the CIA World Factbook, literacy in the DPRK is 99 percent.
Kim Il Sung, the founder of the DPRK, emphasized how important
education was for constructing socialism. His book “Theses on Socialist
Education” is considered one of his most important writings.