Sunday, August 30, 2009

Korea Today: "Human Rights in Our Socialist System"

From the latest issue of Korea Today, the national magazine of the DPRK.

Anyone wants to live an equal life with equal rights. For the masses of the people to live a genuine social life there should be provided a social system for the people. The socialist system of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the one enabling the masses of the working people to live an independent and creative life, and the Korean people’s desire to lead a genuine life free from all manner of subordination and fetters is fully translated into practice in all fields of the political, economic, cultural and ideological life.
As masters of government

All working people in the DPRK participate in exercising sovereignty and state control with equal political rights as masters of the government. In March last, for example, there was held the election of deputies to the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly, in which 99.98 percent of the registered voters cast ballots for all of the 687 candidates—a single candidate at a constituency. 16.9 percent of the deputies are servicepersons, 10.9 percent workers, 10.1 percent farm-workers and 15.6 percent women. Among the deputies are also officials of the Workers’ Party of Korea and power organs and those of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan. Provincial, municipal and county (or district) people’s assemblies are staffed with representatives of all strata elected by the local residents, and all laws and resolutions of the state are designed in full consideration of the will and demand of the people.

The Korean people participate in political activities engaged in party and other organizations. Involved in political organizations, all the people exercise equal rights and perform equal duties. And they maintain their political integrity through their political life in the organizations to which they belong. The democratic intentions of the Party members and other working people are incorporated in the lines and policies of the Party and the state through political organizations. The Songun politics currently administered in the country is absolutely supported by all the people because it is the politics which makes it possible to defend the sovereignty of the country, maintain the safety of the nation and push ahead with the economic and cultural construction.

The people freely express their opinions through the press and other media, and they are at liberty to form an association or to hold a rally. For a typical example, there often take place mass meetings and mass rallies for national reunification and peace, in which foreigners, too, participate at will.
Equal life provided

All means of production, in the DPRK, are owned by the people, and their life is under the responsible care of the state.

All the working people are provided with stable jobs as they wish and to suit their aptitudes and abilities.

One year, during his visit to Pyongyang, a Korean resident in the United States, while looking round neat and peaceful streets unlike those in the US where the unemployed were wandering about, asked the guide if they had no jobless people in the country. Then the guide replied, “The working people are the masters of our country. How could they be unemployed?”

Those who do arduous jobs, like colliers and miners, are held in greater respect and affection by the public, and the Party and the state place primary emphasis on releasing all the working people from arduous jobs and ensuring more hygienic working conditions to them. Priority should be given to protecting the working people’s health and providing them with proper working conditions before thinking of production—this is the consistent standpoint of the Party and the state.

All material wealth produced is given to the improvement of the people’s standard of living. The working people get wages according to the quantity and quality of work done, and the life of old or disabled persons and helpless old persons and children is put under the care of the state.

Besides the income shared out according to work done, the Korean people enjoy a lot of additional benefits in their material and cultural life, the benefits greater than the income and provided at state expense. For example, there are in operation the free education and free medical care systems, the social insurance programs, the social security system, the recuperation and relaxation systems and the premium system for disabled soldiers.

Meanwhile, lots of houses are built every year to be allotted to working people free of charge, and more than 90 percent of the rent for a one-story house and over 75 percent of that for a flat are borne by the state.

All state policies are enforced for the sake of all the people without exception, and women and children enjoy greater state benefits. In October 2006, while looking round the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital, N. Sarantuya, the head of a delegation from Mongolia’s Paektusan Association for Independent Development, praised the DPRK government for being deeply concerned for the health of children and women, and was deeply moved by the fact that all the relevant expense was borne by the state.
The greatest love

From olden times motherly love was referred to as the warmest of human love and it was said that what is most important in motherly love is to lead children to the right path.

The WPK places greatest emphasis on developing all the people into powerful beings capable of shaping their own destiny by themselves by arming them with the Juche idea, and the Korean people enjoy an ideological life based on the idea. The Juche idea is a man-centred, people-centred, idea which, based on the truth that man is a social being with independence, creativity and consciousness, clarifies the philosophical principle that man is the master of everything and decides everything.

The ideological life of the Korean people is ensured by different modes of education under the well-ordered ideological education system and is developing as required by the reality.

The might of their ideological life based on the Juche idea has been proved by the country’s 60-odd-year-long history, and its vitality finds expression in the current developments: the inauguration of a UHP electric arc furnace at the Chollima Steel Complex, the construction of the Wonsan Youth Power Station and other power stations and the successful launching of the artificial earth satellite Kwangmyongsong 2 and so on—all these are the typical results of the ideological and mental power of the people who intend to shape their own destiny by themselves.

The whole country has turned into a great, harmonious family, also the fruit of the people’s ideological life. In the DPRK the collective and individual interests are in complete harmony, and individuals’ interests are fully guaranteed in the collective interests. “One for all and all for one!”—a slogan that can be seen everywhere in the country—implies the collective spirit of the Korean people. The relationship between collectives and individuals and between individuals themselves is not based on their common material interests but is the bonds of kinship based on the Juche idea, and at the same time the principle of comradely love and obligation.

Pak Ki Chon, a man living in Phohang District, Chongjin City, North Hamgyong Province, married a woman, who had been paralyzed in the lower half of her body. He helped her become able to walk on her feet through over ten years’ treatment, and Ri Won Guk and Jon Se Rok, officers of the Korean People’s Army, died saving children from danger by throwing themselves under the wheels of a truck which, accidentally loosened, was rolling towards the children—this is merely part of what shows the noble mental and moral traits of the Korean people.

The greatest love for the people is expressed in developing them into independent and creative beings by arming them with the thought and consciousness of independence and bringing them to ideological awareness—this is the invariable standpoint of the Workers’ Party of Korea. So the Korean people follow the Party, calling it motherly party as it leads them to defend their dignity and rights as a social being and perform their responsible role as masters of the revolution and construction.

Son Yong Su

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to be antagonistic here, but why do you bother putting up such writing? The existence of Marxism as State ideology does not need to be hailed every time, and in the DPRK's case it should not be given any rewarding comments. Any wise marxist would say that the success of a Marxist State is how well it treats its workers - in the DPRK's case how the KWP looks after its workers. In the big cities preferential treatment is given, however the story is very different in the several do's (counties outside immediate urban districts). At the risk of sounding like a rightist vouching for capitalist change (which I don't need to do - the jangmadangs speak for themselves) I will pick my examples carefully. You should visit Dandong in China and actually make a point of looking for people who have escaped but have been abandoned by their hosts. They speak of intolerable harshness in those areas; lack of food, constant angst, no education... as a Korean speaker I have been able to hear this at first hand by beggars in Dandong. In order to once again take any judgment away - they could have been US/ROK spies, but such an assertion is at best random since the beggars make a point of limiting their public space because if caught the other 'bastion of world Marxism' - China - will deport them back. I know what would be a good idea - an article about how capitalist the DPRK is now becoming - jangmadangs, private property owners, Kaesong business owners, a consumer culture in Pyongyang (fast food being a good example - run by Singaporian businessmen) etc etc. In fact, the similarities between the DPRK and a feudal society are strikingly close. If it the column was intended as a historical piece, I am sorry. But I fear that wasn't quite so...