Kim Jong-un, the son of Kim Jong-il, stands third from the left at a conference commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Korean Worker's Party, the ruling party of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Achievements of Korean socialism
By Caleb T. Maupin on December 20, 2012
Reprinted From Workers World
The recent launch of a satellite into orbit is only the latest of many achievements of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The northern half of the Korean peninsula is led by the Korean Workers Party, a revolutionary communist organization. The banks, factories and other commanding heights have been held in common and guided by a planned economy since 1948.
The DPRK’s socialist revolution has resulted in many achievements for the Korean people.
Building up industry
Before driving out the Japanese colonialists, north Korea had very little industrial production. After the revolution, Kim Il Sung led the country in developing its infrastructure. But from 1950 to 1953, the U.S. invaded the DPRK and tried to eradicate all that had been built with a massive bombing campaign. The Koreans resisted and finally an armistice was signed. Over the next three years, in the Three-Year Plan of 1954-1956, the industrial growth rate was at least 30 percent, even according to hostile U.S. sources. (“A Country Study: North Korea,” U.S. Library of Congress)
Between 1953 and 1956, the DPRK tripled its gross domestic product. Huge steel plants were erected. Electric power plants were also constructed. The country became industrialized at a pace that astounded economists all over the world. (“Korea: Division, Reunification, and U.S. Foreign Policy” by Martin Hart-Landsberg, Monthly Review Press, 1998)
Even during the extreme flooding and droughts of the “arduous march” period of the early 1990s, after the collapse of the USSR, no person in the DPRK has ever been deprived of their basic human right to housing. Dr. Bruce Cummings of the University of Chicago pointed out in his book “North Korea, Another Country” that the DPRK makes universal housing a priority. (New Press, 2003)
Currently, the country is working to construct 100,000 new “dwelling houses” in Pyongyang. (Korean Central News Agency, Jan. 22, 2010)
Article 70 of the DPRK’s constitution says: “Citizens have the right to work. All able-bodied citizens choose occupations in accordance with their wishes and skills and are provided with stable jobs and working conditions. Citizens work according to their abilities and are paid in accordance with the quantity and quality of their work.” There is no unemployment in the DPRK.
During the period of Japanese occupation, many working people in Korea were illiterate. The socialist revolution in the northern half of the country established a system of compulsory universal education. According to the CIA World Factbook, literacy in the DPRK is 99 percent.
Kim Il Sung, the founder of the DPRK, emphasized how important education was for constructing socialism. His book “Theses on Socialist Education” is considered one of his most important writings.