President Kim Il Sung, the founder of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was renowned for his outstanding vision.
Master Plan for Postwar Rehabilitation Drawn Up in Wartime
The following happened early in January 1951 when the Korean war (June 1950-July 1953) was at its height.
Kim Il Sung looked grieved to see the landscape of Pyongyang that was reduced to rubble owing to US bombing raids. He asked officials whether they had any good idea for the reconstruction of Pyongyang after the end of the war. This question came as a big surprise to them. He said that it would be late to prepare for the reconstruction after the war was over, specifying how to rebuild the capital city into a magnificent one. Some days later, he summoned an architect to the Supreme Headquarters and tasked him with drawing up the master plan for rebuilding Pyongyang. Afterwards, he went over the draft designs several times, giving advice on how to complete the master plan.
Subsequently, an exhibition of designs for reconstructing Pyongyang and provincial capitals was held at the Moranbong Underground Theatre. In the middle of May 1952, the Cabinet decision On Measures for Preparing the Reconstruction of Urban Areas was adopted. In June 1953 the Military Commission issued an order on building a brick factory. Sapling production bases for landscaping in the capital city were laid out at that time. These were the measures Kim Il Sung took with an eye to the future after the country’s victory in the war.
The Site of an Apatite Mine
One day Kim Il Sung’s car came to a halt halfway up a mountain pass. He got off and walked towards a maize field on a slope. The officials accompanying him on his field guidance trip followed his lead. By the field they stood with a puzzled look as he shucked the ears of maize and spanned their lengths and girths weighing them in his hand. Noticing that the ears of maize in the field were particularly big, the officials presumed that he came there to see them.
To their surprise, he beamed with a handful of gritty soil and said that apatite might be deposited in the area. At that time prospecting for the mineral was in progress across the country but no good result was reported. Some officials suggested importing the mineral from another country.
After a while Kim Il Sung said that it was necessary to explore the area, reasoning that the bumper crop owed much to phosphorus contained in the soil.
It turned out later that the area had a huge apatite deposit. A large apatite mine was built soon afterwards.
The Fall of the Soviet Union Foreseen 20 Years Ago
In October 1964, when Khrushchev was ousted from the leadership of the Soviet party and state, the Workers’ Party of Korea and the government of the DPRK were to dispatch a delegation for the celebration of the 47th anniversary of victory in the October Revolution. Kim Il Sung gave the delegation a special task–presenting questionnaire to the new Soviet leadership and seeking their answers. The questionnaire was divided into five categories; for example, whether they would oppose US imperialism or not, whether they would support the national liberation movement in colonies or not and whether they would interfere in the internal affairs of other countries or not.
Back from the trip, the delegation reported to Kim Il Sung that the new Soviet leadership avoided giving a definite answer on various excuses. This implied that they were unwilling to give up their revisionist line and chauvinistic attitude.
At an important meeting held soon afterwards, Kim Il Sung said that it was necessary to guard against the instances of worshiping the Soviet Union, which would pursue social democratic reformism.
As he predicted, the USSR collapsed as a result of “reform” and “restructuring.”