Kim Jong Il

Improving the Layout of the Field Is a Great Transformation of Nature for the Prosperity of the Country, a Pacific Work Of Lasting Significance

Talk to Officials during Field Guidance to the Development of the layout of Field in 
North Phyongan Province

January 24 and 27, Juche 89 (2000) 


 Our Party has recently proposed the work of improving the layout of fields as an important policy for the revolution in agriculture. In line with the Party’s policy, the work of improving the layout of land in Kangwon Province was successfully finished last year, and this work is now being carried out in North Phyongan Province.

 Here today I have found that the fields in the Handure Plain in Thaechon County, North Phyongan Province, have been laid out well in regular shapes and in a sweeping manner. It is really splendid. I am greatly satisfied. The Handure Plain has been completely transformed and realigned. It would be impossible now for a former landowner to find out his land if he were to come to the Handure Plain with his land register to take his land back. The Handure Plain now looks like the land of a socialist state. Pyongyang City was in charge of the development of the layout of fields in the Handure Plain and it has done a good job.

 There is no need to change the name of the Handure Plain because it has been rezoned to such an extent as to lose its old looks. It is said that the plain is called the Handure Plain because the local peasants had to tend very small plots of paddy fields by watering each of them with handure (a dipper). By leaving the name of the plain as it is you will be able to tell your posterity that the land called the Handure Plain for ages has been completely transformed in our times. If you rename the plain, the coming generations may think that the plain was so well laid out at the outset. You had better keep the name of the Handure Plain as it is. Land realignment is not undertaken to rename plains for form’s sake.

 It is good if the levelling and rezoning of land is being undertaken in Kwaksan County as well. The land in that county will be mostly stony and dry except in the coastal area. It is all right if the land in Jongju City, Ryongchon and other counties in the province is being realigned.

When I was looking into the master plan for the improvement of the layout of the fields in North Phyongan Province last year, I thought it would take a long time to carry out the tremendous amount of work, but it has been nearly finished in several months. You have done a great deal of work, indeed. The Party members and other working people in the province, the soldiers of the People’s Army, and the shock-brigade members from each of the other provinces have worked hard in the difficult conditions and carried out a lot of work. The soldiers of the People’s Army are said to have smoothed over the ridges between the paddy fields with trowels. It is a good thing. Although the times are hard, we have undertaken land realignment in a big way so that we can carry out the instruction the leader gave us in his lifetime to free the farmers from backbreaking work. The comprehensive mechanization of farm work can now be effected even in the intermediate zone of North Phyongan Province. How good it would have been if we had shown the leader the fields which have been well laid out as they are now!

 Judging from the results of land rezoning in this province, we can see that nothing can break the revolutionary spirit of our people who are determined to build an economic power with the strength of self-reliance. The soldiers of the People’s Army and our people are now working hard to build a powerful socialist country in the revolutionary spirit of fortitude, in the revolutionary spirit of the soldiers, with an optimistic belief that though everything is in short supply and difficult, they will be well off tomorrow. Today I am very pleased to see the fields in North Phyongan Province that have been laid out into regular shapes like a checkerboard and in a sweeping manner.

 Large-scale land realignment is possible only under the socialist system. Such large-scale, splendid realignment of fields as has been done in the Handure Plain demonstrates the might and superiority of the socialist system in our country. If people from south Korea see the Handure Plain, they will be surprised and envy it very much. South Korea is a granary with wide plains, but they cannot lay out land as we do because the land there is under private ownership. It is our great pride that we have improved the layout of the fields in a splendid manner as we see here. If you have a photograph of the Handure Plain which was taken before its rezoning, it will clearly show that the plain has changed beyond recognition.

 The great changes that have taken place in the rural areas of Kangwon Province and North Phyongan Province demonstrate the strong political and ideological power of our soldiers and our people who are single-heartedly united behind the Party and the leader, as well as the powerful, independent national economy. They are also an expression of the iron will of our people who are resolved to build a prosperous, powerful socialist country, with unshakable confidence in victory and optimism, with redoubled courage and in a soaring spirit. At the sight of the results of land realignment in Kangwon and North Phyongan Provinces I feel afresh the iron will of our people who loyally support the Party’s leadership as well as the great vitality of our independent national economy.

 If the officials had pushed forward the work of land realignment from fifteen to twenty years ago, they could have finished this work by now. In the past, however, they did not do it as they should. When autumn came round, the great leader always used to instruct that land realignment and the plowing of paddy fields should be carried out properly. The leader ensured that the fields of Chongsan-ri were repartitioned into standardized shapes and sizes, so that the officials could learn how to improve the layout of the crop fields and what profit they could gain from it; however, they did not press on with the project earnestly. They exerted great efforts to reclaim the tidal flats, but they did not care much for land realignment through which a great area of crop fields could be obtained without taking much trouble. True, reclaiming tidal flats is important, but land realignment should be carried out on a priority basis. Immediate benefit is hard to expect from reclamation of tidal flats. However, it does not mean that we should give up reclaiming tidal flats. Reclamation of tidal fiats should be launched following land rezoning. Due to the failure of the officials to carry on land realignment consistently, there still lie in the countryside quite a few small patches of land that have been handed down through generations. Given the situation, I decided to develop first the layout of the fields in Kangwon Province that was lagging farthest behind other provinces in this work and in which the working condition was unfavorable, and then popularize this experience so as to rezone all crop fields throughout the country; I have ensured that the entire Party, the whole army and all the people have turned out for this undertaking.

 Improving the layout of the fields is a great transformation of nature for the prosperity of the country, a patriotic work of lasting significance. We must properly undertake such a gigantic transformation of nature as land realignment.

 Land rezoning is essential for boosting gram production. This is a good way for increasing grain production in our country with limited arable land. There is still much room for obtaining new land through the layout of fields. There are many terraced fields; by rezoning them only, we can obtain a large area of arable land. There are many areas not only in provinces but also in the vicinity of Pyongyang Cify where we can obtain new cropland by rezoning them. The lands of the cooperative farms lying along the road towards Kangdong, for instance, can be a good source of obtaining large areas of cropland when they are rezoned. The more new areas of land are obtained through realignment, the more grain can be produced.

 Proper realignment of fields is also important for effecting comprehensive mechanization of rural economy. Mechanical farming is the centuries-old desire of our farmers. I intend to step up the comprehensive mechanization of rural economy on a full scale, when the economic situation of the country improves to a certain extent. When the fields are not well laid out, the modern farm machines, no matter how many they are supplied to the rural areas, cannot prove their worth and mechanical farming will become impossible. Only when all paddy and nonpaddy fields are repartitioned into standardized shapes and sizes, is it possible to mechanize all farm work, relieving the farmers from the heavy burden of labor. Land rezoning is a worthwhile undertaking to deliver the farmers from labor-intensive work.

 Land rezoning is significant not only for boosting agricultural production by obtaining new areas of land and for delivering the farmers from difficult work by carrying out comprehensive mechanization of rural economy.

 The land rezoning initiated by our Party is an undertaking to transform the land won back by the leader as befits the genuine land of socialist Korea, brighten his achievements and liquidate once and for all the remnants of feudal landownership by improving the features and structure of the land. The agrarian reform carried out after national liberation transferred the land of landlords to the ownership of peasants, but nothing particular has ever changed in the appearance and structure of the land. The improvement of the layout of the fields done in the past was not as ambitious as that of the present, involving land restructuring. The land realignment done by some units, for instance, was undertaken in such a way as the arable land is formed, filling in the bomb craters at most or making some waterways. The small patches of paddy and nonpaddy fields available in our country are all the legacies of the feudal landownership. Repartitioning the small patches of the fields handed down through generations from the feudal age into large, standardized sizes and shapes is a revolution to liquidate once and for all even the last trace of the remnants of the feudal landownership in the rural areas and improve the features of this land as the genuine territory of socialist Korea.

 Whether or not the land rezoning is done as properly as intended by the Party depends on what viewpoint and attitude the officials take with regard to this undertaking and how they work. The officials must take the land rezoning firmly as an important policy of the Party and carry out this task persistently to completion.

 Land rezoning should be carried out in a bold and ambitious way true to the Party’s policy.

 At the outset of this project in Kangwon Province, the paddies were not made large. On my inspection of the sites of this project in this province, including Ranjong-ri, Kosan County, I found the paddies so small that I could hardly distinguish between the old and the new.

 Such a manner of work would not reduce the ridges considerably; then, another project of this kind would have to be carried out after the lapse of only a few years. So I instructed that the project should not be done in a passive manner, and a paddy must be made as large as 1,000 or 800 phyong . We must improve the layout of crop fields not oh such a small scale as removing just a few ridges, but in a bold and ambitious way as we do at present, in anticipation of the events a decade or five decades ahead. Only then, can our land take on the appearance of the land of socialist state. In improving the layout of crop fields, we must work in a far-sighted way not only for our present generation but also for the coming generations.

 At the same time as making the fields standardized when realigning them, depressions should be filled up and irrigation channels and roads should be repaired or newly built in a well-ordered manner if necessary. This is the way to expand arable land and make the best possible use of the equipment and materials in farming.

 Land should be realigned by the method of finishing one project after another by concentrating machinery and manpower. As is the case with all other work, land realignment can be successful only when it is done by the method of carrying out one task after another. If land is realigned in one province after another, there will be no problem in supplying the fuel needed for this work. It would be beyond our power to provide the fuel if land realignment were to be carried out at one fell swoop in all provinces. However, it will be quite possible to provide the fuel needed for this undertaking to be carried out by one province after another in the same way as ants gnaw into bones. If the order of priority is given to provinces for land realignment and this work is carried out by one province after another, it will be possible to make full preparations needed for this undertaking, such as keeping designing ahead. For this reason I ensured that Kangwon Province started and finished land realignment first and that this undertaking began in North Phyongan Province last autumn.

 North Phyongan Province should continue to push forward land realignment as scheduled. This province should completely realign 50,000 hectares of land by May. Then land realignment in this province will be over.

 We must provide the fuel needed so that land realignment in this province is finished before the rice-transplanting season. Although fuel supply is important for this undertaking, we must not supply it without control. When we were improving the layout of fields in Kangwon Province for the first time, we had no experience of this work and, therefore, we could not set the correct norm of fuel consumption. Nevertheless, now that we have gained experience in this work in Kangwon Province and North Phyongan Province, we have come to know the amount of fuel needed. Now no one can ask for a large amount of fuel, playing a trick to keep it in reserve.

North Phyongan Province should raise good crops this year.

 Only when good crops are raised following land realignment, will it be possible to prove the validity and great vitality of the Party’s policy on this undertaking and stimulate the enthusiasm of the agricultural working people. If crops are poor following land realignment, the undertaking will turn out pointless. You should not only give publicity to the fact that a new world has been created as a result of land realignment, but work well to bring about a new advance in grain production.

 If North Phyongan Province obtains new arable land by thousands of hectares through its realignment, it will be able to produce several scores of thousands of tons of grain there alone. Kangwon Province is said to have raised good crops last year following land realignment to increase its grain production 2.5 times as compared with that of the previous year and have been able to economize on a large amount of fuel it had consumed for the transportation of food grain from other provinces. North Phyongan Province can raise crops better than Kangwon Province. The latter province has a small amount of manure resources because its population is not large and it does not raise a large number of farm animals. North Phyongan Province has large population and it is a granary. So, if this province succeeds in land realignment, its grain production can be increased considerably. This province is said to have worked out the plan of grain production on the basis of the peak year. Now it can produce such an amount of grain free from the risk of failure. It is very gratifying that North Phyongan Province is determined to produce a large quantity of grain this year when we mark the 55th anniversary of the foundation of the Party. On the current inspection I have found that North Phyongan Province is making good preparations for this year’s farming from the first month. We must render an effective assistance to the province for this year’s farming as we did last year for Kangwon Province. This year the province must produce cereals as it did in the peak production year.

 For proper farming in the paddy and nonpaddy fields that are realigned, efforts should be channelled into improving their fertility. It is natural that the fertility of rezoned fields decreases. If the soil fertility is not improved, crop production cannot be increased no matter how well the fields are laid out.

 Producing organic fertilizer is the first and foremost task for improving the soil fertility. With a correct understanding that producing organic fertilizer in a large quantity is essential for increasing crop yields, officials must organize its production down to the minutest detail. The soil must be enriched by the application of rich organic fertilizer through a mass movement. The source of this fertilizer is limited at the moment, so it is not an easy job to produce it in a large quantity. However, you can produce it as much as you need if you conduct organizational and political work scrupulously and inspire the revolutionary enthusiasm of the masses. North Phyongan Province must produce manure in large quantities by all means and apply it to the newly-realigned fields as planned.

 We must concentrate the supply of chemical fertilizers to the province. Since the crop fields that have been newly laid out have become the same as the untouched land, they can increase crop yield only when chemical fertilizers as well as manure are applied to them. Chemical fertilizers must be applied to the fields for about three years. The province must be supplied with chemical fertilizers so that it can apply them to the 50,000 hectares of newly-realigned fields in the same amount as they were applied in Kangwon Province. Accurate calculation must be made of the amount of the fertilizers to be supplied to North Phyongan Province.

 We must also supply tractors to the province. Since the province has repartitioned fields well into standardized sizes, we must supply it with efficient tractors for its successful farming and comprehensive mechanization of farm work. We will supply 160 imported tractors to it. You say 81-hp tractor works better than 60-hp tractor in the reclaimed tidal flats. It will be good to supply the province with tractors of different horsepower in a proper combination. Last year we sent many good tractors to the Taehongdan County Integrated Farm, and the officials there say tractors of high horsepower are better than those of low horsepower. You should make accurate estimate of the number of 60-hp and 81-hp tractors among the 160 tractors to be supplied to North Phyongan Province and submit the plan. As has been instructed before, you must continue to make strenuous efforts to repair the tractors that stand idle for lack of parts and tires.

 North Phyongan Province must also be supplied with rice-seedling transplanters.

 We must supply what are needed in farming in North Phyongan Province according to the standard applied in Kangwon Province.

 It is also necessary to supply cement and steel needed for setting up structures in the realigned fields. At first it was planned to rezone 40,000 hectares of crop fields in North Phyongan Province, but now the plan has been increased to 50,000 hectares; so we must increase the supply of fuel, cement and steel accordingly.

 After completing the realigning of fields in North Phyongan Province, we must set about improving the layout of crop fields in South Hwanghae Province.

 South Hwanghae Province is the largest granary in our country. If we rezone the fields in this province well, we can drastically increase crop production. One year the province initiated a campaign for digging waterways, saying it could increase crop production if it carries out the project; but it failed to increase the crop yields remarkably even after the project. In order for the province to increase crop output, it must decisively develop the layout of crop fields. Several counties in the province were ruled by the south Korean puppets before the Fatherland Liberation War. If we develop the layout of fields there, we can fully demonstrate the advantages of our socialist system.

 A recent study shows that the people of South Hwanghae Province have done a great deal of work. We must help them sincerely as a tribute to their endeavor to accomplish a great deal. After finishing realigning crop fields in North Phyongan Province, we must set about realigning the fields in South Hwanghae Province, not thinking about taking a rest or realigning fields of any other province.

 I was told that the crop fields to be laid out in South Hwanghae Province amount to 50,000 hectares, but it is necessary to make a correct estimate of the area. The land realignment in that province can be carried out more easily, since we have gained experience of this undertaking in Kangwon Province and North Phyongan Province.

The land realignment in South Phyongan Province should be carried out after the Kaechon-Lake Thaesong waterway project is completed and farming is stabilized. It would be difficult to undertake the waterway project and the land realignment simultaneously. It is reasonable to start the land realignment after finishing the waterway project.

 The Kaechon-Lake Thaesong waterway project must be carried out properly. The completion of this project will yield a fair return. I was told this project alone would increase grain production 300,000 tons in South Phyongan Province. Three hundred thousand tons of grain is by no means a small amount. With the completion of this project, water will flow naturally into the paddy and nonpaddy fields, making many pumping stations unnecessary. It would make it possible to dispense with many electric motors, transformers and water pumps and considerably economize in electric power. Many sectors require electric motors and transformers, and we can provide them with those which will be redundant as the result of the project. If the Taean Electrical Machinery Plant is to produce as many motors and transformers as those to be obtained after the waterway project, apparently it would take a long time and require a large amount of materials. As the joint editorial of leading newspapers of the New Year’s Day pointed out that actual profit should be gained in different sectors, the economic work must be carefully calculated and started where real profits can be brought and good result produced in a short span of time.

 In the Kaechon-Lake Thaesong waterway project, it is important to concentrate efforts on digging water tunnels and finish them as soon as possible. Tunnelling alone would take a long time. Heavy equipment for tunneling would be available immediately.

 The engineer corps must be mobilized for digging tunnels for the Kaechon-Lake Thaesong waterway. For the increase of grain production, the People’s Army helped Kangwon Province in its land realignment and is now helping North Phyongan Province for the same purpose. The land realignment will be successful because the People's Army has buckled down to it and is working dynamically. The land realignment in Kangwon Province could be finished in a short time and on a high standard mainly because the People's Army took the reins of this project. I intend to have the People’s Army mobilized again for improving the layout of the fields in South Hwanghae Province in future; the engineer corps should not remain indifferent. The corps must dig the tunnels for the Kaechon-Lake Thaesong waterway, even though it means putting off other projects. What is highly important at present is to increase grain production. The engineer corps must concentrate its efforts on digging the waterway tunnels.

 Provinces should launch a struggle to improve the layout of the crop fields on their own efforts. They should not expect the state to realign their crop fields by means of machinery, but do it perseveringly, even though it means doing it manually. All provinces, cities and counties must launch a powerful mass movement to repartition the crop fields into standardized shapes and sizes for mechanized farming. In this way, we must realize our Party’s far-reaching plan for land realignment with credit.  

 

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