North Korean training document emphasizes self-sufficiency

Kim Jong Un speaks during the Third Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) on April 20, 2018. Image: KCNA

The North Korean authorities reportedly held ideological training for all Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) members and workers at the beginning of September. These training sessions reportedly emphasized “support projects” and appear related to efforts to remind North Koreans about “self-sufficiency,” which was a keyword at the Third Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee in April. There was also encouragement to supporting various national development projects, including the major modernization project in Samjiyon.

“A training summary was handed down entitled ‘In Regards to the Complete Devotion to the Struggle to Achieve Our-Style of Socialism while Singing the Ode to the Motherland,” a source in Pyongyang told Daily NK.

An additional source in the capital added, “The main argument was that North Koreans must have an enthusiastic spirit of love toward the socialist motherland and sacrifice everything for the wealth, power and prosperity of the socialist motherland.”

In the 16-page training document obtained by Daily NK, most of the content focused on the need for residents to feel proud of North Korean-style socialism. The summary also called for some parts of the song, “Ode to the Motherland,” which was created on direct orders by Kim Jong Un ahead of the 65th anniversary of the country’s founding on September 9, 2013, to be sung by participants during the course of the training.

The document placed emphasis on loyalty and responsibility of the people by saying that “[everyone] must loyally accept the ideas and wise guidance of the Dear Respected Comrade [Kim Jong Un],” and that “[everyone] must wonderfully execute the revolutionary duties that have been given by the Party.”

It also encouraged participation in various development projects by declaring that “[everyone] must proactively find good work to do for the motherland and the people.”

In the part of the document that emphasized loyalty toward the Party, country and the Suryong (Supreme Leader), the document notes, “Through his extraordinary insight, exceptional political skills and committed and wise leadership, the Dear Respected Comrade [Kim Jong Un] has created an international environment conducive to our revolution through successful, epoch-making meetings aimed at [bettering] the fate of our people and bringing about world peace.”

It goes on to state, “The people must accept the Dear Respected Comrade [Kim Jong Un]’s words and the Party’s policies as absolutely justified, and aim to achieve [all that is in front of them] with a do-or-die spirit at the highest of levels with unlimited displays of devotion and sacrifice.”

The North Korean authorities have responded to this question by stating, “With a basis of the great victory of the [nuclear-economic] parallel policy, the progress of our revolution under the banner of ‘self-sufficiency’ will be further accelerated to more quickly bring about the higher objective of socialist construction, which was presented at the Party’s Seventh Plenum.”

The part of the document that emphasizes responsibility reads, “Our job is the honorable and worthwhile patriotic project of bringing about wealth, power and prosperity for the motherland and the people’s happiness.”

It continues, “The most important thing here is displaying high levels of self-sufficiency and an unceasing revolutionary spirit.” The document also includes a question to be asked during the training: “What is the basic spirit of the Third Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee?”

At the end of that meeting, Kim Jong Un actually said, “With a basis of the great victory of the [nuclear-economic] parallel policy, the progress of our revolutionary under the banner of ‘self-sufficiency’ will be further accelerated to more quickly bring about the higher objective of socialist construction.”

He also emphasized that the root of the Party’s new revolutionary policy is “nuclear [weapons] and the basic principle is self-sufficiency.”

Excerpt of the leaked ideological training document. “In Regards to the Complete Devotion to the Struggle to Achieve Our-Style of Socialism while Singing the Ode to the Motherland.” Image: Daily NK

Through this training document, the North Korean authorities aim to show that 1) North Korea must use self-sufficiency as the sword of ultimate victory and the all-unlocking key to the building of a powerful socialist country; 2) North Korea must build the spirit [of the revolution] through its own designs, capabilities, technology, resources and materials; and 3) North Korea must make “something out of nothing” and compensate for what is lacking while resolving all issues through its own strength.

Moreover, the North Korean authorities are indirectly asking the people to participate in supporting various development projects in the country. The document lists the names of those workers who have been thanked by Kim Jong Un for sincerely supporting the Samjiyon modernization project and who had sent support materials to the Tanchon Power Plant construction site. The naming of individuals was aimed at encouraging others to follow in their example.

The document also reads that, “We need to proactively find good work for the Party, revolution, motherland and people so that we can proudly answer the question, ‘What have I done for my motherland?” and that “[Everyone] needs to find good work to do that contributes to the strengthening of the country’s defenses, and more effort must be placed on support projects in the entire country’s major battle to build a strong socialist country, including critical construction project sites.”

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