Talk with the Senior Officials of the Central Committee of

the Workers' Party of Korea

       January 21, 1990


The East European socialist countries are collapsing one after another these days and the flag of socialism is being pulled down gradually in the Soviet Union. Owing to the machinations of the modern revisionists who are availing themselves of the US imperialists' anti-socialist strategy, the day is apparently not far when the Soviet Union will break up and end its existence. It was in Europe that the ideals of socialism first developed and the Communist Manifesto that announced that the spectre of communism is haunting was published. It was also in Europe that a socialist country, the first of its kind in the world, was born. And today socialism is being frustrated in that Europe.

With regard to the developments in European socialist countries, the imperialists and their ideological mouthpieces are exuberant as though capitalism has "won" and socialism has "ended". This distortion of the real nature of the developments is no more than sophistry aimed at tarnishing the image of socialism cherished in the people, cloaking the reactionary nature of capitalism and justifying their anti-socialist manoeuvring. The frustration of socialism in several European countries does not mean that socialism has failed. It means that the opportunists who allowed socialism to degenerate have gone bankrupt. Although socialism is collapsing in several countries in Europe owing to the schemes of the imperialists and opportunists, in our country socialism is winning victory after victory unperturbed under the banner of the Juche idea and demonstrating its might and viability in all realms of  social life.

Our socialism is different from the socialism of the European countries.

Based on the Juche idea, our socialism is centred on the masses. As the only guiding ideology of the revolution and construction of our times, the Juche idea created by the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung has unlimited viability. Our socialism is distinguishable from the socialism of others in that it is based on this idea, a fresh and unique revolutionary ideology. That the popular masses are the masters of everything and everything serves them in society is the essential characteristic of our socialism.

Our socialism can also be distinguished from the socialism of the East European countries in view of the course of its construction. The East European countries built socialism not in their own way and in accordance with the will of their people but in the way of the Soviet Union and with the help of the Soviet people. We built socialism in our own way and in accordance with the demand and will of our people. Guided by the Juche idea, we built the Party, the armed forces and the state and performed socialist revolution and socialist construction in our own way; we have found solutions to all problems arising in revolution and construction by our own efforts and solved them in our own way to accord the situation prevailing in our country and the interests of our people. The East European socialist countries have developed their economies  by relying on the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) with the Soviet Union at the centre. We have not done in that fashion. We put forward the line of building an independent national economy and have developed our economy in our own way. At one point the Soviet people suggested that our country join the CMEA. At that time the great leader politely declined the suggestion, saying that, when our country was a kindergarten pupil and theirs a university student, we could not possibly enter the CMEA along  with them. While conducting the revolution and construction, we have never watched others' designs nor have we cringed to others to curry favour with them. We have said and done everything we wanted to. We have done everything in accordance with our ideology, our determination and our mood. Our style of socialism is one our people chose according to their will and have built through their own efforts as required by the Juche idea. Our people render absolute support to our socialism and regard it as their life. As we have built our style of socialism excellently in our country on the basis of the Juche idea, our country is advancing dynamically along the road of socialism without swerving in the present rapidly-changing international situation.

Socialism is the life of our people and the banner of our revolution. Our people have dedicated their precious blood and sweat to socialism, overcoming greater difficulties than others did. On this land where centuries-old backwardness and poverty were prevailing, our people, through revolutionary enthusiasm and creative labour, have built a socialist paradise in which everybody lives happily without any worry. They built monumental structures like the Grand People's Study House, the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital, the People's Palace of Culture and the West Sea Barrage. We should feel due pride and dignity in what we have done for the country and fellow people under the unfurled banner of socialism.

The imperialists and reactionaries are now attempting viciously to check the people's advance to socialism, but it will be futile. It is no more than a pipe dream. The course of history is not determined by the will and desire of any individual persons or by any fortuitous factor or event. History is advanced by the effort of the masses of the people, its motive force, and along the course of meeting their demand for independence. Socialism is not an invention of anyone; it is an ideology the masses chose on their own while living in the current of history. It reflects their desire to lead an equally affluent life free from exploitation and oppression. The only way to realize their desire and aspirations is through socialism. While socialism is a paradise for them, capitalism is a grave. If one forsakes socialism, he will return to capitalism. Since it is the will and aspiration of the masses, socialism will surely emerge victorious. It belongs to them. Negating socialism means negating the masses. The imperialists and reactionaries cannot check the advance of the people to socialism no matter what machinations they resort to.

That socialism is the most righteous cause for realizing the independence of the masses and the just victorious cause of the masses is a truth confirmed by history. The future of mankind is in socialism and the future is ours. Our future is beautiful and our victory is inevitable. Today the cause of socialism is experiencing twists and turns but in all aspects it is a passing phenomenon. Vicissitudes are temporary and victory is eternal.

Our revolution is now faced with serious difficulties. With socialism collapsing in several countries in Europe, the imperialists and reactionaries are directing the spearhead of their anti-socialist schemes to our country. Today we have shouldered the destiny of humanity and are confronted with the allied forces of imperialism single-handed. The road ahead of us is tortuous.

If we are to safeguard our style of socialism centred on the masses and advance the cause of socialism dynamically amidst worldwide political upheavals, we must advance against the adverse current of history with an unshakable faith and will to struggle through difficulties and trials. The road of revolution is beset with grave trials and unexpected adversities, so revolutionaries must be accustomed to overcoming them. Without unbendable faith and will, they cannot surmount the grave trials and difficulties and follow the road of revolution to the end. Reaching final victory through manifold difficulties and trials is the worthwhile life of our revolutionaries. As the saying goes, one appreciates a sweet taste only after having tasted something bitter. Victory won by overcoming difficulties and trials is more valuable and a greater cause of pride for revolutionaries. Only a man with the faith, will and heart to win victory can accompany our Party and follow it in the grand march of the l990s. We must all struggle through all manner of difficulties and trials with a faith in sure victory and unbendable revolutionary will, thus safeguarding and further developing our style of socialism and carving out a new brilliant history of the l990s.

In order to safeguard our  style of socialism centred on the masses and exalt its brilliance, we must hold aloft the banner of the Juche idea and live our own way.

That socialism, which has won one victory after another, representing the future of mankind, is being frustrated now in Europe is related largely with the fact that the parties of the East European socialist countries have followed the Soviet Union blindly, failing to establish Juche in revolution and construction. In the past they did as the Soviet Union dictated and mechanically absorbed its experiences as they failed to establish Juche in revolution and construction. This being the case, they followed revisionism when the Soviet Union practised it, making a mess of the revolution and their countries in the long run. Socialism means independence, not subordination. What is the use of making revolution if a man, on the plea of building socialism, allows himself to be plunged in a new form of subordination, living under the control of the others? Looking back upon the annals of the international communist movement, our Party resolved to do everything in our own way under the banner of the Juche idea and put forward the strategic slogan, "Let us live our own way!" This is a slogan of faith of our Party. Our own way is the way indicated by Juche. It comprehends a man-centred philosophy and it embodies politics centred on the masses. It is the best. No way is better than our own way across the world. We must live our own way under the unfurled banner of the Juche idea whatever the storm.

In order to live  our own way, we must acquire our own ideological point of view and our own way of thinking. Our ideological point of view is an independent and revolutionary one that fundamentally disagrees with worshipping the great powers, dogmatism and all other outdated thoughts. Acquiring our ideological viewpoint means thinking and judging everything as required by the Juche idea and solving it by our own efforts and as suited to the actual situation of our country and the demands of our people. We must ensure that all Party members and other working people learn in depth the principles of the Juche idea and their application, namely the lines and policies of our Party, and arm themselves with the Korean-nation-first principle so as to live our own way consistently reflecting our ideological point of view and way of thinking.

In order to safeguard socialism, to add lustre to it and complete the cause of socialism, we must thoroughly maintain socialist principles in revolution and construction.

With the advance of the times and the change of the circumstances and conditions of the revolutionary struggle, lines and policies should be developed in a creative way, but we must never abandon the revolutionary stand or deviate from the socialist principles in any situation. If we abandon the revolutionary stand and forsake the socialist principles to cope with the change of the times, we would make a mess of revolution and construction and lose everything. Introducing individualistic principles into socialist society, which is based on collectivist principles, abandoning socialist principles, is as good as taking poison. Socialism must be built by making revolution, not by resorting to "reformism". The more the schemes are intensified to make our country capitalistic and the deeper "reform" and "perestroika" are in other countries, the more firmly we must defend the socialist principles; we must never make a concession in this respect. In any circumstances and conditions we must consolidate the Party, fully ensure its leadership over revolution and construction, and defend and constantly develop the socialist system. Holding higher the banner of the anti-imperialist struggle, we must thoroughly frustrate the imperialists' machinations against socialism.

We must pay special attention to strengthening the Party organizationally and ideologically and enhancing its leadership role.

The Party shoulders the destiny of our people and its leadership is the lifeline of socialism. As the Party is strong and all our people are upholding its leadership with loyalty, united with one mind and will around it, "peaceful evolution to capitalism" does not take place in our country as in the European socialist countries and socialism is winning victory after victory here. For all that, we must never slight the effort of strengthening the Party. By strengthening the Party ceaselessly and further enhancing its leadership role, we must defend our style of socialism centred on the masses and complete the revolutionary cause of Juche pioneered by the leader.

We must further intensify the organizational life and ideological education among Party members and other working people.

This is an important requirement for strengthening the Party and defending socialism. As they have failed to do this work efficiently and introduced capitalist ideology, several socialist countries in Europe ruined their parties and socialism crumbled there. As the imperialists' wicked schemes to obliterate socialism are becoming more and more obvious with the passage of time, we must intensify the organizational life and ideological education among Party members and other working people, or else we cannot even defend the achievements of the revolution won at the cost of blood, still less strengthen the Party. We must further intensify this work so that all Party members and other working people do not forget the historical lesson of class struggle and fight to the end for the victory of the cause of socialism, thereby frustrating the challenges of imperialism.

We must leave no room for the capitalist elements to infiltrate our ranks. In their attack against the revolutionary countries that are advancing under the unfurled banner of the cause of socialism, the imperialists and reactionaries are now making vicious moves to demolish the faith in socialism among the people of those countries and disintegrate socialism from within. If we allow even small space for the capitalist elements, these elements might make an inroad into us and pollute our people, incurring grave consequences in the end. We must never allow such moves and, when these elements appear, eliminate them before it is too late.