National Heritage Conservation is a Patriotic Undertaking for Adding Brilliance to the History and Traditions of our Nation

Full text of talking points addressed by Kim Jong Un to Senior Officials of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

We are marking the 20th anniversary of the great Comrade Kim Jong Il’s on-site guidance at the Mausoleum of King Tangun. 

President Kim Il Sung had proposed renovating the mausoleum and paid close attention to the project. General Kim Jong Il considered the project as an important undertaking in carrying out his lifetime instructions, and gave energetic guidance to it. On October 29, 1994, while looking round the excellently renovated mausoleum, he said that, as a national treasure to be handed down to posterity, it should be laid out and preserved well, that historical sites and relics should be unearthed in larger numbers to enrich the storehouse of the nation’s cultural heritage, and that they should be inherited and developed properly. 

Through the solemn renovation of the Mausoleum of King Tangun, carried out thanks to the President’s and the General’s ennobling love for the nation and their wise leadership, it has been clearly verified that Koreans are a homogenous nation who have lived on the same territory carrying the same bloodline since the dawn of human civilization with Tangun as their founding father, and a sacred place of the nation has been established for the patriotic education of all the compatriots. This constitutes a great, auspicious event for our nation and a brilliant victory of the Juche-oriented policy on conserving our national heritage. 

The great President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il, recognizing the importance of conserving our national heritage, devoted their efforts to this end throughout the whole course of leading the revolution, thus exalting the brilliance of the time-honoured history and splendid culture of our nation. 

With his gifted wisdom and Juche-based insight, the President put to rights the historical issues which had been distorted and complicated by the actions of the national chauvinists and great-power worshippers, verifying that our country was one of the cradles of human civilization and clarifying the history of our nation which has continued since the days of Tangun’s Korea in accordance with the law-governed course of historical development. He advanced the policy of inheriting and developing our national heritage from a Juche-based stand, and ensured that many cultural relics which had been buried in history were unearthed and verified, and that historical sites destroyed by foreign aggressors were restored to their original state; he thus saw to it that the cultural heritage created by our ancestors was passed down to the people, as well as to the coming generations, as the assets of the nation. 

True to the President’s intention, General Kim Jong Il correctly evaluated and clarified the key problems in putting to rights the history of our country, adding lustre to the righteous history of the nation and ensuring that the cultural heritage associated with the wisdom and talents of our ancestors shed their brilliance as priceless wealth linking the history and bloodline of the nation down through the generations. Busy as he was with his Songun-based leadership, he visited historical sites and scenic spots, leading the work of transforming the conservation of our national heritage into an undertaking of instilling in the people the excellence of our nation. He also saw to it that the excellent national traditions handed down through the generations were preserved, so as to make our nation’s unique spirit and sentiments pervade the whole country. He proposed building a folk park, a grand open-air history museum, in Pyongyang to exhibit the culture and customs our people have created from the primitive ages to the modern era. He then channelled great efforts and concern into its construction so as to hand down to posterity the time-honoured history and brilliant culture of our nation. 

President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il were true fathers of the nation, peerless patriots and great saints in that, by applying the immortal Juche idea, they not only glorified the modern history of our nation but clarified the 5 000-year history of the Korean nation accurately and demonstrated the nation’s excellence to the whole world. 

It is the firm will of our Party, by carrying forward their ennobling intentions, to develop our country with its time-honoured history and brilliant culture into a world-class country with an advanced civilization, into an ever-prospering, powerful country. 

National heritage conservation is a patriotic undertaking for defending the history and traditions of the nation and adding brilliance to them by inheriting and developing the precious spiritual and material wealth created by the ancestors. 

We should maintain the President’s and the General’s ideas and theory of conserving our national heritage as our guiding principles, and apply them in a thoroughgoing way. 

Establishing a Juche orientation and remaining faithful to the principle of historical truth and scientific accuracy are fundamental principles we should consistently adhere to in conserving and inheriting the cultural heritage of the nation. We should resolve all the problems arising in conserving our national heritage in keeping with our people’s aspirations, demands, national customs, feelings and sentiments and discover, restore, preserve and maintain the cultural heritage of the nation in a scientific and technological way, based on historical facts. 

We should properly preserve and maintain historical sites and relics in their original state. 

A valuable legacy created by our ancestors through their struggle and creative activities, historical sites and relics are an asset of the nation that should be handed down from one generation to the next. When we preserve and maintain them properly, we can instil greater national pride and dignity into the people and inherit and develop the time-honoured history, brilliant culture and excellent traditions of our nation. The longer the history of a nation is, the more brilliantly it shines, and the better historical sites and relics are preserved in their original state, the more valuable they become. 

Historical sites and relics should be preserved and maintained in their original state so that they can retain the characteristics of the society and historical period with which they are associated. We should properly preserve and maintain the historical sites and relics in Pyongyang and Kaesong, both historical capitals, while paying close attention to preserving and maintaining the historical sites and relics of national value in other parts of the country. We should first restore those associated with the leadership exploits of the President and the General and rebuild, repair and maintain historical sites and relics on a regular basis in accordance with a yearly plan. We should unearth larger numbers of valuable historical sites and relics, thus enriching the storehouse of the nation’s cultural heritage. We should fiercely combat the nihilistic tendency of negating the excellence of our nation and any practices of failing to preserve and maintain historical sites and relics properly and damaging them. 

We should work actively to sustain the excellent national traditions of our people. 

These national traditions reflect how time-honoured and excellent our nation is, and its ennobling mental world and unique lifestyle. We should value the precious creations and good manners and customs that are permeated with the wisdom and talents of our nation and have been handed down from one generation to the next, and inherit and develop them in line with the demands of the times. 

In order to give full scope to the Korean-nation-first spirit, our Party has ensured that our national culture, arts and customs are actively encouraged, folk festivals are celebrated and folk parks and folk streets have been built. 

In the future, too, we should develop traditional music, dance and fine arts of a strong national character, promote national sports including Taekwon-Do and ssirum (Korean wrestling–Tr.) and encourage people to play such folk games as yut and top-spinning. We should promote our traditional dishes and costumes, sustain the excellence of our language and manners and further develop Koryo medicine and traditional architecture. 

We should properly conserve and maintain scenic spots and natural monuments. 

Since olden times our country has been called a 3 000-ri land of golden tapestry with beautiful mountains and clear rivers. A land of golden tapestry means a land that is as beautiful as an embroidery on silk cloth. Our country has many famous mountains and scenic spots including Mts. Paektu, Kumgang and Myohyang, and Chongsokjong, which are envied by the world, and it also has many natural monuments which should be conserved through a national effort and handed down through the generations. Scenic spots were pleasure resorts for the rich and influential in the exploiting society, but they are pleasure grounds and cultural resorts for the people in our society where the people are its masters. 

We should treasure every tree, every blade of grass and every rock which adds beauty to scenic spots and actively protect the birds and wild animals in these areas. 

We should take good care of mountaineering paths and facilities in scenic spots and discover more scenic spots, so that people have more to enjoy. 

It is important in conserving and maintaining scenic spots to preserve them in their original state without damaging the ecological environment. Comprehensive measures should be taken to prevent scenic spots from being damaged or polluted owing to forest fires, the random felling of trees, the development of underground resources, pests, sewage and industrial waste. 

We should lay out history museums and other bases for history education well, in conformity with the people’s cultural and aesthetic requirements and the trend of the times, and step up education through them. 

History and folklore museums, folk parks and folk streets are important educational bases for implanting national pride and patriotism in the working people, youth and students. Since history museums and folk streets, once laid out well, will become precious assets of the nation, nationwide attention should be directed to building such educational bases without sparing investment. 

The history museums, folk parks and folk streets in the capital city and provinces should be renovated as a way of preserving the national identity. The second-stage project of building up the Pyongyang Folk Park as befits a base of patriotic education should be completed at an early date, and those provinces which have not yet built folk streets should construct them, in line with their local features. In the future, the Korean Central History Museum should be laid out on the world standard so that it will serve as a model history museum and history education base. History museums should be built in the provinces to retain the characteristics unique to each locality. 

It is important to improve the display in museums. Displays of historical relics in the museums should be arranged to ensure scientific accuracy, chronological sequence, vividness and three-dimensional effect so that they help visitors easily understand history. Larger numbers of historical relics should be displayed in the museums so as to enrich the content of the exhibits and leave no historical period uncovered. 

Proper educational work should be conducted by means of the cultural heritage of the nation and the history education bases. 

Providing effective education through them will enable the people, including the young people and students, to be well versed in the history, culture and beautiful manners and customs of our nation, cherish their national pride and patriotism and preserve the national identity. 

Visits to and tours of history museums, folk parks, historical sites and scenic spots should be widely organized. 

Visits to the nation’s cultural relics are currently not being arranged effectively. When our people go to Mt. Myohyang, they look round the International Friendship Exhibition House and go mountaineering; it would be even better for them to visit the history museum and historical sites on the mountaineering route, but they walk past them. This shows their indifference to history. 

Every scenic spot and historical site of national importance in our country bears the footprints and leadership exploits of the peerlessly great persons of Mt. Paektu. If people from the provinces come to visit Pyongyang they should be encouraged to look round the Korean Central History Museum, Pyongyang Folk Park, Moran Hill and other historical relics, as well as many other places in the city. And visitors to Mts. Kumgang, Kuwol and Chilbo should be encouraged to look round the historical sites there. Then they will have a better understanding of the leadership exploits of the President and the General, and at the same time get a vivid idea of history and feel even greater national pride. The working people, youth and students should be taught to know about our natural monuments, prides of the nation. 

The work of conserving the nation’s heritage should be conducted as a campaign embracing the whole country and all the people. 

Every member of the nation should pour his or her patriotic devotion into this work. Several officials regard it as a matter of lesser importance and put it aside. In some cities and counties valuable historical sites and relics are either being lost or damaged owing to lack of attention to their conservation. Even such practices as damaging the landscape and ecological environment at scenic spots are evident. It is heart-breaking that our precious national heritage was destroyed or plundered during the vicious colonial rule of Japanese imperialism and three-year war unleashed by the US imperialists, and it is all the more intolerable from the viewpoint of our national self-respect that the remaining ones are in a poor state of conservation and maintenance. The neglect of the conservation and maintenance of the cultural heritage of the nation can lead to the loss of its history and traditions. 

Provincial, city and county people’s committees should entrust institutions, enterprises, cooperative farms and schools with caring for historical sites, scenic spots and natural monuments so as to conserve and maintain the national heritage in an all-people drive, and conduct the work intensively during the general mobilization period for land administration. Education, science, art, literature, publication and media organs should study the national classics, translate and publish them, bring out large numbers of books on historical knowledge, and introduce historical sites and relics and traditional customs in various forms and by various methods. By doing so, we can ensure that working people, youth and students always treasure our historical sites and relics, conserve them well and staunchly continue the spirit of the nation. 

The Cabinet, the relevant ministries and national agencies should pay due concern to the construction and maintenance of historical sites, museums and scenic spots, and provide the necessary equipment, materials and funds in a responsible manner. A reasonable amount of the revenue from visits to historical sites and scenic spots should be earmarked for the national heritage conservation sector, so that it can independently meet the costs of regular maintenance. 

Proper laws and regulations pertaining to the maintenance of historical sites, relics, scenic spots and natural monuments should be formulated, and supervisory and control institutions such as the people’s security organs should exercise strict legal controls over any violations of them. 

It is important to put the conservation of our national heritage on a scientific footing in keeping with the requirements of the developing reality. 

The era of the knowledge economy requires the scientification of all sectors. If the work of the national heritage conservation sector is not put on a scientific footing, no great successes can be expected of it. 

This sector, in collaboration with scientific research institutions, should adopt new scientific and technological achievements for preserving and maintaining historical sites and relics, and ensure that paints, reagents and other materials for their preservation can be produced domestically. 

It is necessary to develop a database of historical sites and relics, scenic spots, natural monuments and our intangible cultural heritage and promote the exchange of relevant information. 

The Korea National Heritage Preservation Agency should be staffed with experts and their role enhanced so that the agency can function as a scientific research centre and advisory body for conserving the national heritage. 

It is essential to bring about a radical improvement in the role of the National Authority for the Protection of Cultural Heritage. This is a central organ that takes responsibility for and provides unified guidance over the conservation of the country’s national heritage. Only when the responsibility and role of this organ are enhanced will it be possible to ensure the unified guidance over the conservation of the national heritage and realize the Party’s intentions in this sector. 

It is essential to enhance the authority of this organ and set up a well-regulated system of guidance over the conservation of the country’s national heritage. In collaboration with scientific research and educational institutions, the organ should unearth and collect larger quantities of tangible, intangible and natural heritage, and work efficiently to deliberate on, register, and evaluate them, while giving unified guidance over the work of conserving the intangible heritage in the capital city and provinces. It should also encourage the non-permanent committees for the conservation of the national heritage in the capital city and provinces to enhance their functions and role. 

It is important to publicize and commend the compatriots at home and abroad who donate valuable historical relics out of patriotism. 

The National Authority for the Protection of Cultural Heritage should promote exchanges with international organizations and other countries. It should send delegations of researchers to other countries to help them widen their horizons, arrange joint research and academic seminars with historians and people in the cultural heritage field in other countries, and invite foreign delegations to tour the historical sites and scenic spots in our country. The Koguryo tombs with murals and other historical sites in Kaesong have been inscribed on the world heritage list; continued efforts should be made to have the excellent tangible, intangible and natural heritage of our country inscribed on this list. This will help make our country’s time-honoured history and brilliant culture and our Party’s policy on the conservation of our national heritage known abroad. 

All the people in the north, in the south and abroad, as compatriots of the same blood, are descendants of Tangun. They should have a common understanding of the issues relating to their national history from the standpoint of attaching importance to the nation, and encourage academic exchanges relating to their national cultural heritage, thus rendering a contribution to adding brilliance to the history of Tangun’s Korea. 

Party guidance over the work of the national heritage conservation sector should be intensified. 

Party organizations should equip the officials and working people in this sector firmly with the Party’s policy on the conservation of our national heritage and encourage them to implement it to the letter. Party organizations should encourage them to work hard with a pure conscience, with sincerity and with a high sense of responsibility, cherishing in their hearts the immortal achievements performed for this sector by the peerlessly great persons of Mt. Paektu, and through Kim Jong Il’s patriotism. 

Among the officials and working people in this sector there are many patriots and unassuming, meritorious people who remain faithful to their jobs in remote mountainous villages, come rain or shine, and whether recognized or not. Party organizations should pay close concern to their work and lives, fairly assessing their successes and exploits and giving prominence to them, and promptly solving any problems. 

Party organizations at all levels should fill the ranks of officials in this sector with able people. They should post to this sector those who are loyal to the Party and have expertise and a high sense of responsibility, and take prompt measures to make good the shortage of researchers, lecturers, technicians and skilled workers. 

The relevant departments of the Party Central Committee should approach the conservation of our national heritage as an important undertaking for adding lustre to the achievements President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il made for the nation’s history, and provide effective policy-oriented guidance to this sector. 

All officials should strive to implement the Party’s policy on the conservation of our national heritage thoroughly so as to defend the immortal achievements made by the President and the General and add brilliance to the history and traditions of our nation. 

Author: 
Kim Jong Un
Date: 
Friday, October 24, 2014