2011 Focus Stays on Light Industry

[imText1]North Korea has asserted as its goals for 2011, “improvement of the people’s lives and constant pursuit of construction of the strong and prosperous state” through its annual “Common Editorial” carried by the three major publications of state; Rodong Shinmun, Chosun People’s Army and Youths’ Advance Guard.

The publications, which carry the propaganda of the Party, military and Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League respectively, released the editorial this morning under the heading, “This year let us realize a decisive change in improving the people’s lives and constructing the strong and prosperous state by once more accelerating light industry.”

Without mentioning nuclear issues or improving relations with the U.S., and only scant mention of the succession, the editorial mostly reiterated the contents of last year’s editorial; “improving the people’s lives through development of light industry and agriculture.”

This year’s piece started with an evaluation of the last ten years, calling it a “victorious decade” and asserting, “Juche 99 (2010) was the year when phenomenal issues which showed the strong and prosperous future happened in consecutive order.”

Specifically, it pointed to the Delegates’ Conference of the Chosun Workers’ Party as the biggest achievement of the last year.

Regarding the Delegates’ Conference, it went on, “It was a significant chance to raise the authority of the Party in all possible ways and reinforce and develop our Party into an eternal Comrade Kim Il Sung Party,” adding that the Conference was “the fundamental background for the succession and completion of the achievements of the Party and Juche revolution.”

In terms of Kim Jong Il’s activities, it defined the last year as “a historical year when the excellent leadership of comrade Kim Jong Il was displayed at the highest level,” and emphasized, “The General’s leadership work, which led the whole military and people into a brave, aggressive war, was truly extraordinary and intelligent.”

The editorial praised Kim Jong Il’s diplomatic activities, stating, “Two visits to China by the respectful General were historic trips to raise the conventional friendly relations between China and Chosun onto a new level which have prepared the advantageous surroundings for our revolution.”

This appears to suggest that the biggest of Kim Jong Il’s achievements was obtaining Chinese support for the Kim Jong Eun succession.

After the evaluation of the previous year, strategies, goals and major slogans for the New Year followed as normal, and as normal all is led by a quotation from Kim Jong Il; this year, “We have to bring forth the bright future of the strong and prosperous state through constant innovation and advancement, while harboring a deep faith in our victory.”

Regarding the economy, it stated, “This year’s all-out battle is the constant, enormous march for an enhancement to people’s live,” and “light industry is the primary frontier of the all-out battle.”

Among the most interesting points may turn out to be, “The movement of August 3rd people’s consumer good production has to be carried out actively,” which may suggest that the authorities are set to partially allow autonomy of production, an idea which stands apart from recent strong-armed attempts to return to the socialist economy of yesteryear.

August 3rd people’s consumer goods refer to all the necessities made independently with by-products or recycled materials from each factory, enterprise or collective farm to help them generate revenue.

The editorial also demanded indirectly loyalty to Kim Jong Eun, who became the Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission under the Central Committee of the Party through the Party Delegates’ Conference in September, asserting, “Holding aloft the slogan, ‘Let’s defend the Central Committee of the Party surrounded by great comrade Kim Jong Il with our lives,’ we have to inherit solidly the precious tradition of believing absolutely and following the Party and Suryeong.”

It additionally implied that the North may take a hard-line towards South Korea this year, stating that, “The spirit of the People’s Army, which resembles its great supreme commander, is the fighting spirit of the Mt. Baekdu, and its way of reacting is through urgent and merciless annihilation.”

It also explained that the major reason for the latest confrontation between North and South is the South’s policy towards the North.

It asserted, “South Chosun authorities must come to the path of withdrawing their policy of anti-reunification, confrontation with the same nation and respect and implement the June 15 Joint Declaration and the October 4 Inter-Korean Summit Agreement.”

Saying, “If the flame of war bursts to life on this soil, there will be nothing but a nuclear disaster,” the editorial threatened, “The whole nation should never forgive the criminal maneuvers of pro-American and belligerent elements, which have dragged the situation into a war in collision with foreign forces.”

In conclusion, the editorial finished, “While unifying strongly around the Central Committee of the Party led by great comrade Kim Jong Il, let’s create decisive change in the construction of the strong and prosperous state with deep faith.”