Everything Is Fine In North Korea
“Brilliant Guidance: For the People,” the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, No. 405, December 1989. [The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea—published in English—is (was?) essentially North Korean propaganda.]
Visitors to Hamhung, an industrial city, will be attracted by a magnificent building with a unique style. It is the Hamhung Grand Theatre. It was built thanks to the deep care of dear Comrade Kim Jong Il who spares nothing to provide adequate conditions for the cultural life of workers.
One day at the end of November 1979, Comrade Kim Jong Il visited Hamhung to give personal guidance in South Hamgyong Province.
It was far after three o’clock in the early morning when he arrived in the station. It was still dark but he drove to a construction site to give his direction. Although officials who accompanied him begged him to rest even for a few moments, he continued to inspect the building under construction. Day began to break. Officials now thought he would leave for his lodging.
But he asked if they could show him the design of the Hamhung Grand Theatre. Apparently he had been interested in its construction. He said that he would like to begin the day by studying the design. When a provincial offical begged him to have a rest and postpone his examination of design to next time he said, “I am very happy when you ask me to study designs of the building for the people.” He smiled and urged officials to start.
He was shown into a meeting hall where the designs were prepared. Comrade Kim Jong Il looked into blueprints. There were two types of design about the facade of the theatre: One was drawn in a rectangular shape, while the other was in a round shape. After studying each of them, Comrade Kim Jong Il selected the second one. It displayed a new conception and more attractive appearance, although it was certain that construction would be expensive and building operations would be complicated.
He observed that the stage of the theatre must be wide enough to show performances of circus and art troupes from the capital. It would be larger than the Pyongyang Grand Theatre, but its design would be welcomed. There is a large population of workers in Hamhung.
Comrade Kim Jong Il added that our working people would use the theatre and that therefore it ought to be built excellently and on a large scale.
The eastern sky was reddening at dawn. Comrade Kim Jong Il drew up the curtain and looked out at the rising sun. He remarked that it would be necessary to build a park around the theatre. At the end of work, the workers along with their family members could come there to enjoy performances or recreation and ease their fatigue.
Soon the officials began to carry out his instructions.
On the Train
The following year, in 1980, the historic Sixth Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea was held. All people worked hard to greet the congress with the achievements. In South Hamgyong Province, the construction of varieties of buildings, including cold storage factory, was being undertaken. But the building of the theatre was neglected.
One day Comrade Kim Jong Il, who had given personal guidance in a northern province, was returning home. When his train entered South Hamgyong Province, an official of the province boarded the train to send him off.
Comrade Kim Jong Il who had been studying a pile of documents submitted to his examination, welcomed the official and put aside papers. He asked about the economic situation and the people's living conditions in the province. When their topic came to the construction of the theatre, the official felt extremely guilty.
Two days previously, a senior official of the province was telephoned far late at night by Comrade Kim Jong Il. He was asked what progress was made in the theatre construction. Unprepared, he hesitated. After a while he answered that no progress was made because they had been so busy with construction of production projects.
Comrade Kim Jong Il was silent before remarking that the importance of production projects could never be an excuse for the delay. He urged the official to accelerate construction of both production projects and theatre.
He sensed how the official on the other side was feeling and kindly talked to him.
“We must know clearly why we are building factory or theatre. It is only for the benefit of the working people that we are working to develop economy and increase production. Therefore we must equally be concerned about increasing production and improving the cultured life of the working people.”
He added, “You may use money and supplies preferentially for the construction of large factories in order to complete them before the opening of the Party Congress. But you must not delay construction of the theatre of use the supplies for its building in another project.” He observed that he would support them and they must spare nothing for the benefit of the working people. The official was deeply moved by the nobility of mind.
Later on Comrade Kim Jong Il showed deep concern for the construction of theatre. When he learned that they met a problem in transport, he ensured that dozens of lorries were sent to the construction site. When steel products were in short supply he made sure that they were sent promptly. Even equipment for lighting and acoustics selected by him were sent.
In the Hamhung Grand Theatre, art troupes of the province and from the capital are giving frequent performances to entertain the people in Hamhung area.
Article: Kang Tae On
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This issue’s Table of Contents:
- The Great Leader President Kim Il Sung Pays Unofficial Visit to the People’s Republic of China—1
- Conquerors of Nature, Arable Land Extends
- New Land Obtained along the Seashore—4
- Reclamation of Highland—10
- Abundant Harvest and Distribution—13
- Demonstration of Invincible Unity—14
- The Great Leader President Kim Il Sung Receives Foreign Guests—15
- Brilliant Guidance: For the People—16 (see above)
- “Our Country Is the Cradle of Happiness”—20
- In the Embrace of My Country
- A Full Life—22
- Enjoying Great Benefits—22
- Nyongbyon Silk—23
- Historical Record of the Pyongyang Festival—24
- Admiration for the Schoolchildren's Art Troupe—25
- 40 Years with Readers—26
- Violation of Human Rights in South Korea—28
- The Group of Marathon Runners to Rescue Rim Su Gyong—29
- In Parks and Pleasure Grounds—30
- The 35th Anniversary of the Start of Algerian Revolution Marked—32
- A Bright Future of Korea Assured—33
- National Division Must Be Ended—33