Economy

Until the 1970s, thanks to the support of communist nations such as Russia and China, and the fact that all industrial facilities of the Japanese Empire era were on the North Korean side, somehow to live without public opposition Was completed. (Jang Ki-hong, “North Korea: ordinary people”)

As North Korean defector Jang Ki-hong says, the North Korean economy has a watershed between the seventies and eighties. Former joy group Shineihime testified as follows.

Until the 1970s, the lives of North Koreans were well tolerated. However, in the 1980s, since Kim Jong Il came to the forefront of the administration, the North Korean economy has deteriorated enough to threaten the basic elements of clothing, eating and drinking. There is no reinvestment in production facilities, and the number of days when factories stop operating due to aging machines or a shortage of raw materials, while at the same time preparing for wartime conditions, such as “quasi-wartime conditions” Frequent training often hindered production activities.
The party was encouraging the people to prepare wartime foods, such as rice meal, but the lives of the general public were increasingly squeezed and depressed. In addition, through wartime training, which was conducted many times a month because of tension, the people were forced to continue patience and poverty under the name of military stockpile, while monitoring the situation. (Shin Young-hee “I was the dancer of Kim Jong Il”)

After the 1980s, North Korea’s economic downturn was triggered by the failure of the Six-Year Economic Plan.

What triggered the current economic collapse was the failure of the Six-Year Economic Plan (1971-76), a national effort in the 1970s.
The six-year plan set a goal of 2.2 times the gross industrial output, but in a mid-planning party convention in February 1974, Kim Il Sung set a figure two to three times higher than the original plan. Make a change.
Kim Il Sung says, “I can climb the higher peak of socialism. It will speed up the South Korean revolution and unity, and inspire the struggle of revolutionary people around the world.”
In short, it was probably driven by the desire to make the revolution faster and to be proud of it.
In October 1974, more than six months after the plan was changed, a political party meeting was held at the party’s center to remove the confusion. At that time, Kim Il-sung’s younger brother, Kim Yong-ju, who was in control of the central party and was in charge of the economic department at that time, was raised in remorse at a political bureau meeting. It is said that he could not. Kim Jong-ju was relegated to rebuilding the regime at this time, which caused Kim Yong-ju to lose his place, and instead Kim Jong Il took control of the entire party organization, including the economic sector. It jumped to No. 2 of North Korea. (Zhang Myong-sue “Betrayed paradise”)

At a party convention in February 1974, Kim Jong Il ousted Kim Il Sung’s younger brother, Kim Yong-ju. The following is a memo from Han Deok Jin, who chaired the party convention.

“The construction of the economy in 1974, which is crucial in the second half of the Six-Year Plan, was behind schedule, and the second half of the year caused a major disruption in the economy.
This led to a party political meeting in October. At the meeting, the great boss asked the participants (can’t do it as planned, causing economic turmoil) and asked what to do. There was nothing to say and the atmosphere was dark.
At this time, Kim Jong Il’s leaders boldly undertook, “Send it to me,” and immediately held a meeting of the party’s organization and publicity department and organized a seventy-day battle. ”
(Ibid.)

Kim Jong-Il, who lost control of Kim Yong-ju and seized power, is confused rather than rebuilding his regime.

The start of Kim Jong Il, which took control of the economic sector, further exacerbated the confusion, rather than rebuilding its position. It was a form of forced labor called “seventy-day battle.”
When the seventy-day battle began, the Labor Newspaper published editorials and dissertations that emphasized the seventy-day battle on a daily basis, with slogans such as “speed battle,” “blitz fight,” and “slaughter.” It was posted. (Ibid.)

The economic stall has continued since the late 1980s.

North Korea’s economic plan has consistently focused on the heavy and chemical industries, and the delay in light industry has become apparent.
As the shortage of daily necessities and consumables worsens, Kim Jong Il ordered in 1984 to establish 200 necessities direct sales outlets nationwide in order to “improve people’s lives.”
However, the shortage of raw materials, materials, electricity, fuel, etc. for the production of daily necessities is extremely difficult, and among the common people, “ Even if you get a distribution ticket, the goods will not come ”, “ The dark goods are circulating “It’s expensive and I can’t get it.” (Housei Sakae: Woman who abandoned her homeland)
Since 1987, North Korea has invested a huge amount of money and resources (coal) in the Shuncheon vinalon manufacturing industry in the Second Seven-Year Plan in order to improve living (mainly eliminating clothing shortages). , Which led to reduced production availability at other factories. Fertilizer production dropped sharply, causing severe food shortages due to the failure of agricultural policies that relied on chemical fertilizers and droughts and floods that had been overtaken by the aging infrastructure that had been developed during the Japanese occupation. . (Hiroko Saito, Forty Years Brides in North Korea)
The North Korean authorities felt the economic crisis most seriously in August 1993. All the fires at the blast furnace at Kimchek Steel Works had extinguished.
Originally, there were three large blast furnaces at the Kimchek Ironworks, where the total daily output was about 800-900 tons. However, due to lack of materials, only one of the three blast furnaces was operating since 1989.
Even the last blast furnace had extinguished the fire. Pyongyang became a fuss. An emergency response committee was formed, chaired by Choe Yong-rim, whom Kim Il Sung had cherished.
The reason was that the supply of coke and heavy oil was interrupted. Coke was imported from China, where it turned out that coke had run out. Choe Yong-rim mobilized steelworks staff to pick up coke that had fallen around the railroad, and received heavy oil from the military.
As a result, the blast furnace was barely lighted for the first time in a month. At that time, I also met Choe Yong-rim. His face was black, sluggish, and so thin that his cheeks were depressed. (Kan Myong-do, Top Secret of North Korea)