Please note this blog does not necessarily endorse all of the viewpoints of this article.
— Espresso Stalinist
“Why is it that people in North-Korea are starving but at the same time magnificent buildings are being built?”
Against the lies about “famine” in the DPRK
The bourgeois media insist on reporting on the one hand about the so-called “famine” in the DPRK, on the other hand they confront the “suffering and misery of the North-Korean population” with so-called “magnificent buildings” and with “the good life of the communist dictator Kim Jong Il”.
What does it look like in reality with “famine” in the DPRK?
The DPRK produces sufficient food and is self-sufficient. 80 % of the country is mountainous country and only up to a point appropriate for agriculture. 14.1 % of land area is used as agricultural area under cultivation, 12.1 % is irrigated. Yet: each square metre of usable area is being planted.
The agriculture of the DPRK is still burdened with the after effects of the US war 1950 – 1953 against the young socialist country. During their aggression the US employed bombs and especially napalm to an extent which led to destruction and drastic reduction ot the stock of trees in the mountains. During the 3 years of war the US carried out more than 115 000 air raids only on the DPRK. 85 % of the bombing was directed against civilian targets. 600 000 tons of napalm and other bombs were dropped. The US employed a great number of napalm bombs, chemical and biological weapons as well to cause fatal epidemics among the population or simply to make them die in agony.
On wide areas irreparable environmental damages were caused. As a result of the destruction of millennium old stock of trees in the North-Korean massifs entailed through the first war of environmental destruction in the history of man carried out by the US Air Force it has not been possible till today to stop the danger of flooding of the mountain slopes and valleys or plains. Though greatest efforts were undertaken by party leadership, government and the people of the DPRK to reafforest and further effective precaution measures against flooding were taken again and again big agricultural problems arose.
Heavy rainfall in the years 1995, 1996 and 1997 led in spite of the increased afforestation of the mountain slopes to flooding of the rice-fields with masses of mud which destroyed the rice harvest in those years. Rice is the staple food. Because of harvest-losses caused by natural effects the government of the DPRK felt compelled on one hand to carry out rationing of rice-sale, on the other hand to raise enormous sums of financial means for rice imports because of the still existing embargo-politics of the USA and their imperialist allies. Per day dan per grown-up person 750 gr dried rice was distributed. Children received according to their age from 350 up to 500 gr. There was no discrimination at the rice rationing.
Each person got the same daily ration regardless of whether they were workers, farmers, employees in the administration, university professors, officials of the Party of Labour of Korea or member of the government of the DPRK. Yet – and this is not concealed as well by the official side of the DPRK – there were considerable problems in supplying the population in the initial state of the rice-rationing, when rice import was just starting. Elderly and ill people were süecially affected and quite a number of them died. But never was there any question of a “famine” or “mass deaths”. However rice rationing for children was constantly maintained up to the termination of the rationin measure in October 2000.
Under the guidance of the Party of Labour of Korea the people of the DPRK mad supreme efforts up to October 2000, not only to stabilise rice cultivation, but also to increase it. Besides the cultivation of potatoes was considerably increased. The production of other agricultural products was not affected by the three natural disasters. Fruit and vegetables were always available in sufficient amounts for nutrition for the people of the DPRK. During my visit to the DPRK a year ago I was also in my capacity as guest of the society of social sciences of the Party of Labour of Korea, affected by the rice rationing. But I did not have to go hungry.
Those are the realities the bourgeois media conceal. If they reported about it they would have to accept the superiority of the socialist society over the capitalist world. In this capitalist world aren’t there 40000 children dying of hunger daily, aren’t there millions of children marked by malnutrition?
Answering the matter concerning “famine” one should then get a completely different view concerning the so-called “magnificent buildings” in the DPRK.
There are certainly super-modern magnificent buildings in so many countries on earth and there are not a few countries where those buildings have been erected right near the slums. So this makes clear the huge contrast between wealth on the one and poverty on the other hand!
If in our “modern” capitalist Germany a good many “people on the left” are taken in by the bourgeois lies about a “famine” in the same connection with the erection of “magnificent buildings” in the DPRK and believe it, it only shows how much these “people on the left” are tainted by the bourgeois ideology. They forget that the “magnificent buildings” in the capitalist industry monopolies and in many countries of the “3.rd world”, too are a product of exploitation of man by man. They forget that especially the working population in our Germany (like in the other capitalist industry nations) take advantage of the exploitation of the people in the “3.rd world” and consequently enjoy that relatively high standard of living. Only the people on the left – you needn’t be communist! – who accepts and realises that, will see socialism with other eyes.
In Korean society where the exploitation of man by man has been abolished, where the means of production belong to all of the working-class, where the human being is the focus of all social development, there is another relation between the Marxist-Leninist Party of Labour and the working population of the DPRK.
When in 1945 the Korean people had shaken off Japanese colonialism after more than 30 years millions of Koreans were confronted with the awful legacies of the colonial exploitation of the Japanese. Korea had no industry, no universities, a few 4-year schools, an underdeveloped system of communications and of transport. But the Korean people realized that with their victory over the Japanese colonial masters they had gained their freedom and their national independence.
This freedom has nothing to do with the bourgeois description of the concept of “freedom”. The Korean people had been fighting a 20 years lasting liberation fight for a freedom which had freed them from exploitation of man by man.
Guided by the party of work of Korea after liberation they instantly began with the rebuilding of their country. Industry was set up, schools, children’s- and cultural establishments, apartments were built by the people. A whole nation realized how their country and their life changed through their work.
5 years after the liberation of the Japanese yoke the South Korean rulers started their war against the Korean Democratic People’s Republic. After the attack of the South Korean aggressors had been beaten off by the Korean People’s Army and 90 % of South Korea had been liberated, the US entered the war under the cloak of UN. 3 years later the US was forced to sign the armistice treaty.
Three years of US war meant US-American application of “scorched earth” tactics. The capital Pyongyang was practically “razed to the ground”, the country was “bombed back into the to Stone Age”.
But for the Korean people, guided by the Marxist-Leninist Party of Labour of Korea and their great leader comrade Kim Il Sung, the signing of the armistice treaty meant a triumph in defending their freedom.
The working population of the DPRK instantly began to rebuild their country. Supported by the solidarity and aid of all socialist countries, also the GDR, a modern socialist state came into being. What had been created within 40 years until the victory of the counter-revolution , was the works of working people of the DPRK and it was for their benefit. Yet they had realized that their work could only bear fruits if the results of the socialist structure were defended.
When in 1989/1991 the counter-revolution triumphed in the socialist countries hard times began for the DPRK. 50 % of the foreign trade had been transacted with the Soviet Union. The GDR and the Czechoslovakia were also important foreign trade partners of the socialist DPRK.
Imperialism that time speculated that in the DPRK the “reformers” would win and that there would follow a change of the socialist conditions back into capitalist ones. But they made a mistake because they didn’t realize that the consistent application of Marxism-Leninism with its constituents Marxist Philosophy, Political Economy and Scientific Communism (Juche-Ideology) sets the human being in the focus of social development. They didn´t realize that it is exactly this item which determines the relation between the Marxist-Leninist party of work of Korea and the working population. This relation gave rise to the strength to continue the successful building of socialism also in spite of the hard times in the DPRK after the victory of the counter-revolution in the socialist countries of Europe.
The working population of the DPRK managed to compensate with great efforts the break-down of the socialist world system and the embargo imposed on them by the USA. Today the working population of the DPRK are able to produce everything within their own economy that is needed to successfully going on to shape the building of socialism.
Certainly you can’t compare the standard in the socialist political economy with the economic level of the western industry nations. But you shouldn’t forget that the setting up of the socialism in the DPRK isn’t older than 50 years and isn’t based on exploitation of the “3.rd world”.
“Pompous” buildings in the DPRK? When there was practical loss of the rice harvest for 3 years and the country had to import great quantities of rice the government of the DPRK decided to cut investments in favour of securing the feeding of the population. So that time no “pompous buildings” were set up whereas the housing scheme, social establishments included, went on unchanged.
Maybe one should define the term “pompous buildings”. Are they 5-stars-hotels? Are the government palaces? Are they cultural- and sport-palaces? Or are they memorial places of the revolutionary fight of the Korean people?
There is a difference if in Germany with its almost 10 million unemployed, 3 million people living on social welfare and 1 million homeless persons you build the government quarter and the large-scale-project “Lehrter Bahnhof” in Berlin with the tax yield of the working population for a small socio-economic group we call bourgeoisie or if you build in the DPRK a cultural palace the entering and using of which the working population has not to pay a penny for. Who will deprive the working population of the right to set up memorial places and monuments of the revolutionary fight against the Japanese oppression and of the Great Patriotic War 1950 – 1953 because they honor their heroes there?
In the DPRK people needn’t pay for the rent of their flat – no matter whether they are 2-storey dwelling houses from the 50ties or 30-storey tower blocks of the 90ties . Attending cultural houses and sports-places, national education, medical care, children’s care in crèches and kindergardens is free of charge. There is no unemployment and homelessness, there is barely any criminality, no prostitution and drugs. The low infant mortality is of world standard.
I would think that the enclosed photographs convey an impressive illustration of the real life of the people in the socialist DPRK.