How Did the DPRK Carry Out the Agricultural Cooperativization?

Answer to questions by Francis Lyimo, Vice-Director General of the African Regional Committee for the Study of the Juche Idea:

The agricultural cooperativization in the DPRK was carried out in a short span of only 4-5 years after the Korean War by the original idea and wise leadership of President Kim Il Sung.

With the principle that production relations are changed and developed by the development of productive forces, the preceding theory of the working class clarified that the agricultural cooperativization could be done only after socialist industrialization. Therefore, socialist countries including the Soviet Union transformed the rural economy on the socialist line on the basis of the industrialization and technical transformation of their rural economy. Many countries regarded it as a formula.

On the basis of the fundamental principle of the Juche idea that man is the master of everything and decides everything, President Kim Il Sung considered it as the main in the agricultural cooperativization whether the agricultural cooperativization was vitally needed by the peasants themselves and whether the subjective forces to discharge it were prepared instead of whether the rural economy was equipped with modern technology.

In the arduous period of the Korean War he put forward an original idea that the agricultural cooperativization can be carried out before industrialization and without such modern farming machines as tractors if the peasants themselves need the agricultural cooperativization.

The agricultural cooperativization was a vital need of the peasants themselves, masters of the rural economy, after the war provoked by the US imperialists.

The material and technical foundation of Korea’s rural economy had been destroyed heavily and the peasants’ living conditions deteriorated due to the 3-year-long war. In such conditions, Korea could neither develop the agricultural production nor improve the deteriorated living standard of the peasants while the private rural economy remained.

At that time, the revolutionary forces that could carry out the agricultural cooperativization were fully prepared in Korea whereas the forces against the cooperativization weakened considerably.

The President took account of the reality and put forward the policy for cooperativization in August, 1953 and wisely led the Korean people’s efforts for it.

He set forth the principle of voluntariness of enabling the peasants to join a cooperative according to their will, the class policy of depending thoroughly on the poor peasants, of rallying with the middle peasants, and of limiting the rich peasants and remoulding them gradually, and the principle of strengthening the guidance and assistance of the Party and the state to the end of the agricultural cooperativization.

He took measures to set up an experimental stage of organizing a few agricultural cooperatives in each county with poor peasants and hard-core elements and consolidating them and then generalize them on a massive scale. He also defined three forms of cooperative economy at the beginning of the cooperativization and saw to it that the peasants themselves chose one of them in keeping with the specific conditions in organizing their agricultural cooperative.

He saw to it that the size of agricultural cooperatives should not be too large or too small, but 15-20 households at the beginning in conformity with the managing standard of officials and the level of the peasants’ ideological consciousness and gradually expanded into 40-100 households according to the maturity of their conditions.

All peasants joined cooperatives voluntarily when the superiority of the experimentally organized agricultural cooperatives was demonstrated under the wise leadership of the President. As a result, the agricultural cooperativization was successfully completed in August, 1958 in the DPRK.