Kim Il Sung and Self-supporting Economy

Apr 17, 2020

As is well known, countries liberated from colonial rule after the Second World War followed the road of relying on big and developed countries for their “aid” or copying their economic models.

But the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea aspired after the construction of a self-supporting economy from the first days of nation building.

All that left after Korea’s liberation (August 1945) were only a backward economy damaged by Japan on its defeat in the war and empty national coffers, but the Korean people built a new country by their own efforts. They started building a self-supporting economy on the debris after the Korean war (1950-1953).

At that time, Kim Il Sung presented two principles as important tasks for economic construction. One was that the country can never escape the fate of being “indebted” if it depended on aid from others without accumulating its own assets, and accordingly it must build its economy by its own efforts. The other was that as long as the Korean people were determined to live independently, the pressure and blockade by the dominationists were inevitable, and accordingly they must have a strong material and economic strength with which to overcome the pressure and blockade.

Proceeding from these principles, Kim Il Sung put forward the basic line of socialist economic construction–developing heavy industry on a priority basis and simultaneously developing light industry and agriculture.

The hostile forces tried to check economic construction of the DPRK by means of political and military threat and double and treble blockades and sanctions; the great-power chauvinists, slandering its line of independent economic construction, tried to shackle it to Comecon, claiming for “socialist international division of labour.”

But no one could ever change his decision.

His country achieved socialist industrialization in 14 years, and built an advanced rural economy.

This shows that the DPRK’s self-supporting economy was built not with the help of propositions in any classic works but on the basis of Kim Il Sung’s ideas and plans, not by copying the experiences of others but in its own style in compliance with requirements of its revolution and opinions of its people, and not by relying on the strength and technology of any powers but on the strength of its own efforts and technology.

Once recalling those days in deep emotion, President Kim Il Sung said: If we had not built our own self-supporting national economy but lived on aid from other countries, we would not have achieved industrialization, and would now be begging big countries for aid.

Expanding the economic structure in a many-sided way, building its own solid raw material bases, equipping all the sectors of the economy with modern technology and bringing up its own native technological cadres–these are the main contents of the DPRK’s line of building a self-supporting national economy.

The present foundations of the DPRK’s economy are great. The raw materials and fuels of the metal industry, a buttress of the economy, are all based on the domestic natural resources. The high-level machine-building industry, which produces CNC machines, is also based on the country’s own technology. The same is true of the chemical, building-materials and light industries and agriculture. All the sectors of the national economy are based on domestic resources and technology. As the reality shows, the foundations of the national economy are solid and the economy’s modernized, scientific and information levels are rising day after day. On the basis of this, it is achieving a high rate of growth.

In 1994, the last year of his life, President Kim Il Sung met former US President Carter, and said: We are not afraid of sanctions; we have so far lived under sanctions; not even a day passed for us out of sanctions; however, we have lived on without much trouble up to now; never expect that we cannot manage to exist if we are put under more sanctions.

This demonstrates his self-confidence based on his experience of building a powerful self-supporting economy throughout his life.

Today the self-supporting national economy built by President Kim Il Sung serves as a precious asset in smashing straight through the vicious blockade and sanctions by hostile forces on the strength of self-reliance.