[KS] Three questions on North Korea

Afostercarter at aol.com Afostercarter at aol.com
Wed Aug 2 13:50:00 EDT 2006

Dear colleagues,

Now I have a question or three on North Korea:
one rather general/current,
another very specific/historical,
- and a third for light relief.

A. Can anyone throw light on so-called social cooperative ownership
in the industrial sector (not farms), and what it means in practice?

In which sectors is this form of ownership prevalent? Given the nature of
the DPRK and the leading role of the WPK, are enterprises of this kind 
truly autonomous of the state in any sense? Don't they have to do as
they're told, like everyone else? Is this balance changing at all?

B. Quite separate from the above is this from KCNA on August 1.
Fascinating. I just wondered:
* Is much known independently about this good woman?
* Why is N Korea suddenly praising the "patriotic rich"?

Monument to Paek Son Haeng Unearthed

   Pyongyang, August 1 (KCNA) -- The monument to Paek Son Haeng has been 
recently discovered in Mangyongdae District, Pyongyang, the DPRK. Paek Son Haeng 
(1848-1933) was a patriotic rich woman. She donated a colossal amount of money 
for the enlightenment and development of the nation while living a frugal 
    The monument was investigated by researchers of the National Classic 
Institute under the Academy of Social Science. 
    It was reared by a number of people including Kang Ton Uk (February 
1871-November 1943), maternal grandfather of President Kim Il Sung, on July 16, 
Juche 16 (1927) to hand down to posterity the patriotic deed of Paek Son Haeng, 
who donated a large acreage of land and fund to the construction of Changdok 
School and various schools. 
    The original monument consisted of a pedestal, body stone and shade 
stone. But only the body stone has been discovered. It is 170 centimeters high, 43 
wide and 31 thick. 
    Engraved on the front side of the monument are words " Monument to Paek 
Son Haeng" in bold letters, the words introducing her patriotic deed on the 
back side and the names of more than 140 persons concerned on the both sides. 
    General Secretary Kim Jong Il, who values the nation's history and the 
people's patriotic doings, saw to it to restore to its original state the 
Monument to Paek Son Haeng and set up it, along with the explanatory board, in the 
compound of the Paek Son Haeng Memorial House in the front of the Ryongwang 
Pavilion so that a lot of people can see it. 

C. Finally, what on earth is this all about? 

best wishes

Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University 

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