|▲ Kim Chan Ku in Pyongyang Sunpyong Stuffed Toy Factory ⓒ the Daily NK|
The doll producing factory, ‘Pyongyang Sunpyong Stuffed Toy Factory’ was named by myself. Since such toy factory was first case in North Korea, the party officials had great interest in it and supported my business.
I had a chance to look at products in my North Korean factory for the first in six years in Pyongyang.
Female workers in the factory had contributed the most. The material they had to handle was rare in North Korea. For most of them, it must have been their first time looking at such material. Still, factory employees labored and started to produce dolls.
Dolls of white bear, brown bear, puppies and kitten were manufactured. Even I felt like being a child when I was looking at those dolls. Some of them were planned for export to South Korea while the rest would remain for North Korean kids. I was dreaming of North Korean children holding the dolls produced in my factory.
If production phase kept up, there would be more order from international buyers and I could be able to teach more skills and know-how to North Korean technicians.
My next objective was to gradually increase the production rate to a hundred thousand dolls per month. What I had achieved by then took about six months. One hundred thousands dolls per month seemed an easy task.
But a ‘North Korean’ trouble occurred again. Since salary was set immobile, production cost was higher if output was low. When output was increased, the number of inferior goods also rose.
So I pushed the employees to work hard and cautiously at the same time with low rate of inferior goods. The reply was “we don’t work in a capitalists’ way!” Workers did not get paid more for extra production.
“The Great Leader comrade Kim Il-Sung and the Dear Leader comrade Kim Jong-Il already told us how to work. We only follow that.”
I could not find a word to respond.
Also, at the same time, I divided the 240 workforce into four divisions to stimulate competition. I planned to give them motivation by awarding the best division with flour. But such way was, for my employees, an ‘American imperialists’ way, not a Korean one.’
Despite such hardship, I tried my best. I focused not only on production rate but also general working environment to be comfortable and friendly. In order to do so, I turned on bright music inside the factory. Also, I emphasized the workers to make toys lively. Kids communicate with dolls that are lifelike and vivid.