June 22, 2024
KCNA Naenara (En)

A Prelude to Transformation of Nature

Date: 21/05/2024 | Source: Naenara (En) | Read original version at source

“It is raining ceaselessly on the Pothong Plain. Today is the day of the final charge of the patriotic project for the Pothong River improvement, an undertaking of historic significance. The 10-day heavy rainfall has turned the construction site into muck and mire. Nevertheless, the final charge was launched solemnly. ...”

This is an excerpt from an article carried on Jongno (what is now Rodong Sinmun ) one July day in Juche 35 (1946).

The Pothong River improvement project was the first large-scale nature-harnessing work in Korea after its liberation from the Japanese military rule on August 15, 1945.

For decades the river had inflicted great disasters and misfortunes on the Korean people, who called it a river of tears and grudge. In 1923 alone, the river flooded the houses that amounted to half of the total households in Pyongyang.

President Kim Il Sung proposed improving the river and led the efforts to this end in a bid to put an early end to the bitter history of the river.

The project was an uphill task that required clearing over 700 000 cubic metres of earth and building banks in the sections running a total length of 5 000 metres before the rainy season.

On May 21, Juche 35 (1946), Kim Il Sung attended its ground-breaking ceremony to pick up the first spadeful of earth.

Addressing the event, he said that we should accomplish such project one by one by our own efforts, even though we have to tighten our belts, and that we should not hope somebody else would do this work but do it by ourselves and overcome all hardships arising in the project by our own efforts.

In hearty response to his call, Pyongyang citizens turned out as one to dig water channels and build up embankments in high spirits.

They built a makeshift suspension bridge to cut the time of getting to and from the workplace for dining. Not content with this, they worked overtime after their shifts. Farmers carried earth diligently by using A-frame carriers, with some transporting seven cubic metres of earth a day by an ox-cart. Merchants used their bicycles to raise the carrying efficiency.

Thanks to their patriotic zeal, the project was completed in a matter of 55 days, and it marked a prelude to the Korean people’s heroic struggle to transform nature in all parts of the country.

Ham Kwang Hyok

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