Changchun, China — In a lecture for cadres and organization chiefs on the 2nd, North Korea defined the “strong and prosperous socialist state” mentioned in the New Year’s Common Editorial as “a place where people always eat meat-based soup with their rice.”
“On the 2nd, an organizational chiefs’ meeting and a lecture for cadres were held, to realize the New Year’s Common Editorial. In the meetings the authorities emphasized the bright economic forecast for this year,'” explained a source from Yangkang Province.
The source said in a phone conversation with the Daily NK on the 5th, “In order to quickly distribute the Rodong Shinmun, the publication of the Workers’ Party which contained the editorial, the state even organized special trains and in Hyesan, Yangkang Province, the newspapers were delivered to each household by that night.”
He noted further, “Most civilians got together to have their regular Evaluation Meetings on the morning of the 2nd, from 9am in each working place, and they then went out to produce manure with their People’s Units. They then rested in the afternoon, while the cadres participated in a lecture given by Min Young Se, the Party Propaganda Secretary of Yangkang Province, called “Let us fully realize the New Year’s Common Editorial.”
According to the source, the Propaganda Secretary stressed, “Now the time has come for us to generate the abundance that we accumulated while swallowing the blood-stained tears of the March of Tribulation. The world will be taken back by the magical progress that we will show.”
The Secretary also encouraged the cadres, “The Americans also acknowledge us as a strong nuclear state and have implored us to conclude peace talks. If I were to describe the coming year, I would say it will be a prosperous year.”
One focus at the meeting was the reemergence of the expression “meat soup with rice,” which was used to describe the North Korean socialist future during the “Chollima Campaign” of the ’50s, right after the Korean War.
“Until now, the meaning of the ‘strong and prosperous state’ has not been specified, but for the first time in nearly 15 years, the expression ‘meat soup and rice,’ which was originally used by Kim Il Sung, has surfaced again. They are quoting again the Supreme Leader’s old line, ‘rice with meat soup,’ as the food situation has not actually been improved since then,” the source added wryly.
He also noted, “The Propaganda Secretary said, ‘A world where people can have rice with meat soup, which is what the General wants, is being achieved due to his great efforts. The strong state is one where all the people can afford to eat rice with meat soup and all food, clothing and housing issues are completely resolved, so we have nothing to envy from the world.”
According to Secretary Min’s evaluation, “Under the General’s wise orders, two definitive breakthroughs for resolving the civilian food crisis issue have been made through revolutions in potato farming and a second sowing season. Also, when the West Sea waterway construction is completed, the history of suffering from food shortages will end. Furthermore, the construction of large-scale power-plants has been proceeding successfully; helping to resolve electricity problems, and a countless number of factory enterprises have completed their preparations for production.”
The source analyzed regarding the lecture, “Actually, in the last 10 years, we have built a sufficient production foundation. What we need the most is rice, electricity and gas, so how the state solves these three areas is pivotal for the recovery of the economy.”
Meanwhile, in Hyesan and Hoiryeong, North Hamkyung Province, some enterprises provided a kilogram of candy, a bottle of liquor, and 500 grams of bean oil as New Year’s Day gifts. However, the domestic food situation can still be evaluated as unstable, and rations were not provided during the holidays.