Full text of talking points addressed by Kim Jong Un to Senior Officials of the Party, the Army and State Economic Organs
In a few days’ time we will be marking Tree-Planting Day, a significant day when the great President Kim Il Sung kindled the flames of the movement for planting trees.
Busy as he was with leading the building of a new country after national liberation, the great leader climbed Moran Hill on March 2, 1946; seeing the mountains and rivers of the country, damaged during Japanese imperialist colonial rule, he unfolded a far-reaching plan to turn all the mountains into thickly-wooded resorts for the people by having trees planted in large numbers. Forests are precious resources of the country and a wealth to be handed down to posterity. Our country has been called a land of golden tapestry thanks to its mountains thick with forests and fields covered with beautiful flowers. However, as people have been felling trees at random since the days of the Arduous March on the plea of obtaining cereals and firewood and, worse still, as no proper measures have been taken to prevent forest fires, the precious forest resources of the country have been devastated.
As the mountains are sparsely wooded, even mildly heavy rain in the rainy season causes flooding and landslides, and the rivers dry up in the dry season; this greatly hinders economic construction and the effort to improve people’s standard of living. Despite this, our officials have confined themselves to reconstructing roads and buildings damaged by flooding, while failing to take measures to eliminate the cause of the flood damage by planting large numbers of trees on the mountains.
At present, the forests of our country can be said to be at a crossroads–whether perishing for ever or being restored. We can no longer ignore the issue of the forests. As long as the forests are left as they are, no one can claim that he is a master of the country, nor can he speak about patriotism.
Grieving for the country’s declining forests, the great General Kim Jong Il drew up a plan for covering the whole country with trees and flowers, and devoted great efforts until the last days of his life to translating it into reality. I cannot forget what he used to say when, on the road of Songun-based leadership, he saw mountains with no trees; he said it was the aftermath of the Arduous March, and gave earnest instructions that we should plant large numbers of good tree species on the bare mountains so as to turn the misfortune into a blessing and hand down to the coming generations beautiful mountains thick with forests. We can never hand down to the coming generations bare mountains, piles of earth.
It is the unshakable determination and will of our Party to turn all the mountains into thickly-wooded “treasure mountains,” into “gold mountains,” within the coming ten years, true to the intentions of the great President and General.
The entire Party, the whole army and all the people should conduct a vigorous forest restoration campaign to cover the mountains of the country thickly with forests.
Forest restoration is a challenging and complex undertaking that involves raising saplings, transplanting them and then cultivating them year in, year out in the face of the harsh challenges of nature; it is a gigantic nature transformation project to turn all the mountains of the country into “treasure mountains,” into “gold mountains.” The forest restoration campaign is a war to improve nature.
What is important in conducting this campaign is to push ahead simultaneously with the creation and conservation of forests. We should bring about a sweeping revolution in forest creation. Forest creation should not be done by planting a few trees ceremoniously on Tree-Planting Day or transplanting fully-grown trees, as was done in the past. It should be done by raising saplings in large numbers and enlisting all the people in transplanting and cultivating them.
For effective forest creation, first of all saplings should be raised and supplied in sufficient numbers.
Raising saplings is the first process of forest creation; success in the forest restoration campaign depends on how nurseries provide saplings. Nurseries are to a forest restoration campaign what munitions factories are to a war. Just as one cannot be victorious in battle if he is not provided with ammunition, so we cannot conduct the forest restoration campaign successfully if nurseries fail to grow saplings in sufficient numbers.
The Central Nursery and other nurseries should mass-produce various good species of saplings. At a time when the country was in a very difficult situation, the General, with a far-sighted plan, had the Central Nursery built as a modernly-equipped producer of saplings, and equeathed it to us as part of his legacy. The Central Nursery should raise the level of its science, industrialization and intensity in growing saplings and overfulfil its production plan, thus taking a significant share in the forest restoration campaign.
Provincial nurseries should also be renovated.
They should have modern equipment, like the Central Nursery. Whatever the amount of investment, we should provide ample conditions for laying out sapling production bases. At provincial nurseries, the greenhouses for raising saplings are currently not in good shape; they should be renovated. Modern greenhouses are essential to putting sapling production on a scientific, industrial and intensive footing. Each province should build a model greenhouse that conforms with the characteristics of growing saplings and their uses, and generalize the experience. The provincial nurseries should be provided with the diverse material and technical conditions necessary for producing saplings in sufficient numbers. Nurseries should obtain the seeds of good species, improve the fertility of the sapling fields, take positive steps to introduce advanced growing methods and take all possible precautions against damage from pests. The officials and employees there, with a full awareness of the important duty they have assumed in the forest restoration campaign, should strive to boost production in the same manner as they would display when making bullets and shells for soldiers on the battlefield.
Trees should be planted with care. Otherwise, the precious saplings that have been raised with so much effort will wither, and the restoration of the forests will be delayed. Every year trees are planted on such occasions as thePeriod of General Mobilization for Land Administration and the Tree-Planting Month in Spring. But the forests of the country show little signs of improvement; this is because the survival rate of the transplanted trees is low as a consequence of their careless planting. It is important to plant many trees, and it is all the more important to plant them with care and increase their survival rate.
A lot of people in several sectors will be enlisted in tree-planting, and they should be given proper guidance so that they work according to the technical regulations. It is necessary to inform the officials, service personnel, workers, students and other young people who are enlisted of the specific planting methods, and make exacting demands on them so that they plant trees according to the technical regulations. After planting trees, it is important to manure and cultivate them properly.
Saplings require much effort and care if they are to grow into big trees. The technical regulations should be strictly observed in the processes of growing them, such as in watering, manuring and removing the weeds and shrubs. Ailing and useless trees should be weeded out promptly and replaced. A rigid system should be established whereby organs and enterprises take responsibility for the survival of the trees they have planted.
It is important in the forest restoration campaign to lay out forests of economic value, protective forests and scenic forests in a rational way. Afforestation should be done on the principles of planting the right trees in the right soil and in the right season and planting ten after felling one. Mixed forests and agroforestry should be actively introduced, and afforestation should be done by combining transplanting and natural regeneration appropriately to meet the actual conditions.
We should make great efforts to conserve the country’s forests.
We should push forward this undertaking from the standpoint that forest conservation precisely means the protection of the land, the ecological environment and the economy. Just as the public health sector takes prophylactic measures to protect people against diseases, so we should conserve the forests to prevent damage to them.
Random felling of trees in the mountains must be prohibited. Some people climb mountains and cut down trees as firewood or timber without permission, as they care nothing about the country’s forests. The unauthorized felling of trees is tantamount to treachery. All the people on this land should treasure and protect every blade of grass and tree in their country. They should be encouraged to take part in forest conservation efforts in a manner befitting masters with a noble sense of civic duty and law observance, so as to eliminate any practice of damaging the forests. Pest control is important in conserving forests.
To this end, it is essential to intensify the preventive observation of pests so as to detect their appearance and take prompt measures to stop them spreading. A mass-based pest control drive should be conducted from March to May every year. Pest damage should be prevented by various methods, such as applying biological and chemical pesticides and protecting and increasing the numbers of their natural enemies.
Comprehensive measures should be taken to prevent damage from forest fires. Forest fires can reduce to ashes in an instant forest resources created through long, painstaking efforts. The state should establish a system of watching for forest fires, raising the alarm and mobilizing people, make the necessary material and technical preparations for promptly putting out a forest fire once it breaks out, and build fire belts as required by the regulations and maintain them properly. People may climb mountains in spring and autumn to collect medicinal herbs and for various other purposes; they should be taught to observe the set order strictly. In particular, scrupulous measures should be adopted against forest fires during the seasons when they are most likely to break out. In order to conserve forest resources, we should provide sufficient fuel for the people.
Positive measures should be taken to solve this problem, including creating forests for firewood wherever it is needed and increasing the production and supply of coal. There are several units which have solved the fuel problem with biogas, fly ash or ultraanthracite. By actively popularizing their experience, we should ensure that all regions solve the fuel problem by their own efforts.
Various sectors should take measures to use smaller amounts of timber so as to lower the degree of reliance on the forests. We should direct close attention to developing forest science and technology. We can successfully promote forest creation and conservation when we rely on science and technology. Forest science and technology institutes should study and solve the scientific and technological problems arising in tree breeding and in forest creation and conservation. They should focus on breeding and widely proliferating good tree species that are of
economic value and suitable to the climatic and soil conditions in our country.
Along with this, they should conduct scientific research for perfecting the methods of planting and tending trees as suited to the geographical features and actual conditions in our country. They should develop methods for planting trees all year round. They should also solve the problems arising in creating forests on a planned basis and conserving and maintaining them. We should take measures to introduce and widely disseminate the global achievements of advanced science and technology related to forest creation and conservation. As there are few good tree species in our country, we should bring in such trees from abroad and widely proliferate them after acclimatizing them. We should grow large numbers of such trees as P. strobes, which the General spoke highly of, and spread them across the country.
We should work effectively in disseminating forest science and technology among officials and the working people. As all the people are enlisted in forest creation and conservation, they should understand the methods of planting and tending various species of trees. Centres for disseminating science and technology have been established in various parts of the country; based on these centres, a brisk drive for disseminating forest science and technology should be conducted to keep people abreast of world trends in the development of forest science and
In order to develop forest science and technology, we should build up the Academy of Forest Science. Some officials are now neglecting the work of building up this academy, claiming that the effort to develop forest science and technology takes too long to pay off. They should not do so. We should develop the Academy of Forest Science into a world-class academy. And we should also improve the forest science institutes in the provinces. We should tighten supervision and control over forest creation and conservation.
Now that a powerful national forest supervision organ has been established in accordance with a measure taken by the Party, it should effectively conduct forest supervision and control in a unified way.
We should intensify legal controls over forest creation and conservation. If legal controls are weak, there may be no halt to law violations. The state should tighten legal controls over forest creation and conservation so that negative elements cannot appear. A serious issue should be made of random felling, whatever the unit and person concerned. Units should be properly rewarded or punished according to their efforts with regard to forest creation and conservation. We should build up the ranks of forest rangers and enhance their role and sense of responsibility. As forest restoration is a long-term undertaking that is carried out with an eye to ten years in the future, we should persevere in carrying it through to the end.
We cannot achieve success in our effort for forest restoration if we make a one-off effort. Officials should cherish deep in their hearts the General’s aphorism that one should live not merely for today but for tomorrow, and we should persevere with forest creation and conservation by regarding it as our constant task. The plan for forest restoration should not remain a piece of paper bearing figures and charts. We should turn all the mountains into “gold mountains” covered with thick woods and thus demonstrate in practice that Korea does whatever it is determined to do.
We should set forest restoration as a major task for the Party, the state and the army and forcefully push ahead with it by enlisting all forces and means.
Forest restoration is important political work for implementing the instructions of the President and the General and one of the greatest patriotic undertakings for the development of our country, our nation, and the prosperity of posterity.
Because forest restoration is a very important undertaking, the Party has ensured that its Central Committee, the DPRK National Defence Commission and the KPA Supreme Headquarters issued a joint resolution calling on the entire Party, the whole army and all the people to turn out in a dynamic forest restoration campaign, and powerful headquarters for the campaign were formed.
The entire Party, the whole army and all the people should be enlisted in the forest restoration campaign. Only when the whole country and all the people are involved can the forest restoration campaign prove fruitful. The entire Party, the whole army and all the people should turn out in the campaign in the same way that they carried out reconstruction after the war. “Let the entire Party, the whole army and all the people be enlisted in a vigorous forest restoration campaign!”–this is the militant slogan our Party puts forward today. The People’s Army should take the lead in the forest restoration campaign.
As in all other undertakings, it should play the vanguard role in this campaign. The political commissars of army units at all levels should take direct charge of forest creation and conservation and push ahead with it.
In the campaign the army and people should make concerted efforts to display the might of great army-people unity to the full. Mass-based movements should be launched to ensure the campaign’s success.
It is our Party’s traditional method of work to propel the revolution and construction by means of mass-based movements. Just as they launched the Chollima Movement after the war, so Party and working people’s organizations should conduct vigorous movements to win the titles of Forest of Socialist.
Patriotism and Model County in Afforestation. Youth league organizations, in particular, should wage a movement to create Youth Forests and Children’s Union Forests and tend them properly so as to encourage all the youth and students to contribute to covering their home villages and mountains with forests.
Information and motivation work should be launched vigorously to rouse the entire Party, the whole army and all the people to take part in the forest restoration campaign. If we inspire all the service personnel and people with patriotism and enlist their spiritual strength through effective information and motivation work, there is nothing in the world we cannot achieve. The biggest reserve in every undertaking is the spiritual strength of the masses. We should conduct an energetic information and motivation offensive to give fullest play to the spiritual strength of officials and the working people.
The spirit of Kim Jong Il’s patriotism should be displayed to the full in the forest restoration campaign. In the course of carrying out the campaign, people’s patriotism can be evaluated. It is said that a large number of trees have been planted annually in recent years, but creating forests is not progressing as it should; this shows that our people have not worked heart and soul and instead only paid lip service to their patriotism. Patriotism is the noble spirit of valuing every tree in the country and devoting one’s sweat and sincerity to tending it, and one’s patriotic feeling develops while he plants and tends every single tree. All officials, service personnel, working people and youth and students should remember that forest creation and conservation is one of the greatest patriotic undertakings for the future of the motherland, so that they can turn out in the forest restoration campaign with soaring patriotic enthusiasm.
All sectors and all units should conduct frontline-style information and motivation work to ensure that the whole country brims over with revolutionary ardour and vigour, as it did in the days of postwar reconstruction. Party and working people’s organizations should strive intensively and ceaselessly to conduct information and motivation work related to forest restoration. Newspapers, radio and television broadcasts and all other means of disseminating information and motivating people should be enlisted.
The forest restoration headquarters should improve their role. Whether or not the forest restoration campaign is carried out successfully in line with the Party’s intention depends largely on their role. They should work out proper long-term, stage-by-stage and annual plans, and make scrupulous arrangements and exercise effective command to carry them out. No deviations should be revealed during the campaign.
Officials should stand in the vanguard of the forest restoration campaign. They should not just hang around in their offices, checking statistics, but go out to the pulsating fields like the commanding officers of the People’s Army and lead the masses in the campaign, shouting the order, “Forward after me!”
Just as we have achieved one victory after another in the confrontation with the forces hostile to us, including the US imperialists, while not firing a single shot, so we should achieve a brilliant victory without fail in the forest restoration campaign to eliminate the aftermath of the Arduous March and hand down lasting wealth to posterity.
I believe that our officials, service personnel, working people and youth and students, who have always been faithful to the Party, will turn out as one in the forest restoration campaign, a noble patriotic cause, in hearty response to the call of the Party Central Committee.